The Visual Art Poem

What can we learn from a painter’s gaze or a sculptor’s pacing? In this exercise-guided, generative course, we’ll write and workshop visual art poems—or “ekphrastic” poems, vivid descriptions of works of art—by engaging with film, painting, sculpture and installation art. We’ll discuss our emotional, intellectual and physical responses to various visual media and approach our writing by blending our personal experiences with descriptions of the art works themselves. In the process, we’ll engage with vocabularies used by filmmakers, painters, sculptors and more. To ground our inspiration and hone our craft, we’ll be reading poems, art criticism and interviews by poets and artists such as Anne Carson, Tina Chang, David Choe, Terrance Hayes, Charles Ray, Rainer Maria Rilke, Wislawa Szymborska, Wayne Thiebaud and Kara Walker, among others.

Workshop Details


  • Teacher: Cindy Tran
  • Level: I
  • Dates: Sep 25–Oct 30, 2022 (October 2 off)
  • Time: Sundays, 2:00–5:00 pm (ET)
  • Location: 144 Montague St, Brooklyn
  • Cost: $395
  • Class size: 5–10 students
  • Registration deadline: SUN, SEP 18, 2022
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off through SUN, SEPT 18
Cindy Tran

Cindy Tran

Cindy Tran is the author of the poetry collection Sonnet Crown for NYC (2021), winner of the Thornwillow Patrons’ Prize. A recipient of fellowships from NYSCA/NYFA, the Poetry Project, and the Loft Literary Center, Cindy has presented her work at the Shed, the Lincoln Center and the BBC. Cindy’s poems have been published in Slice, the Margins, Copper Nickel and elsewhere.