poetry and art at Menlo Park Library

Post image for Spoken Art: Poetry Reading & Art Reception set for June 18 at Menlo Park Library

Join the Menlo Park Library for a celebration of poetry and fine art, featuring poets of all ages from all across San Mateo County on June 18 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

The evening includes readings of selected poems from the winter Spoken Art submission period, a chance to view the artwork that inspired the poems, and to meet the poets and artists. Refreshments will be served, and all are welcome.

San Mateo County Poet Laureate (and Menlo Park resident) Lisa Rosenberg (pictured) created the Spoken Art community project as a way to increase audience and recognition for the county’s poets and visual artists alike, offering a springboard for new writing that draws on the talents of the county’s diverse, vibrant artistic communities.

Each month, the Spoken Art webpage offers artwork from a different San Mateo County artist, and invites county residents to create poems in response. The artwork and a selection of poems are featured at quarterly celebrations.

Poems about art — “ekphrastic” poetry — have a long, rich history. They can broaden our enjoyment and understanding of many kinds of art, of the poets’ lives and voices, and of the communities they represent.

Ekphrastic poems can take many different paths: some offer a vivid description of the artwork, others detail personal reactions, still others create a story or commentary, or even a conversation with the people or objects shown. Some well-known examples in English include “In the Musée des Beaux Arts” by W.H. Auden, John Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” and “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning.

Photo by Irene Searles (c) 2016

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