Ekphrastic Fantastic

The Bride's Descent by Philip C. Curtis
(Phoenix Art Museum)
Friend and fellow poet Julie E. Bloemeke alerted me to  a fantastic collaboration between Four Chambers Press and the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona. The press – which publishes a literary magazine and chapbooks – sent out a call for poetry and prose in response to pieces of art at the museum. Right up my alley!

Julie flew out to Phoenix and spent a few days at the Phoenix Art Museum looking at specific works she wanted to respond to in her poems. She came home excited and already well underway with her drafts for three different poems. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go to Phoenix, but I was already familiar with one of the artists that Julie was raving about – surrealist painter Philip C. Curtis.

At the eleventh hour I decided to write a poem in response to Curtis' haunting "The Bride's Descent." As you can see above, the image is arresting. Curtis' has a touch of Magritte about his work, which I also love, and the The Bride conjured up all sorts of imagery: Kill Bill and The Bride Wore Black, chessboards, funeral parlors, the choice of whether to turn right or left at the bottom of the stairs. Ultimately, the poem I wrote and submitted the day before the deadline is called "Turn Left." I was absolutely thrilled when Four Chambers accepted the poem for the chapbook collaboration, Poetry and Prose for The Phoenix Art Museum.

In typical synchronistic fashion, Julie responded to another piece of Curtis' work, "Wait by the Station," which was also accepted for publication.

Sadly, I won't be able to attend the launch party and reading for the chapbook at the Phoenix Art Museum because of my schedule and commitments, but I love that Four Chambers has embarked on this kind of collaborative project with the museum. There should be more of this. Much more.

Ekphrastic poetry has been much on my mind as I continue my series of poems about women in film, so this acceptance for the new chapbook is just another link in the chain of my future work.

Thank you Four Chambers, Phoenix Art Museum and Julie!


Anonymous said…
Very cool, Collin!
Lisa Allender said…
Wowsers! That's awesome, Collin....
Jennifer Perry said…
Congratulations to you and Julie!

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