The Visual Art Poem

What can we learn from a painter’s brushstroke or a sculptor’s carving? In this five-week, in-person workshop, we’ll write and workshop visual art poems—or “ekphrastic” poems, vivid descriptions of works of art—by engaging with film, painting, graffiti, sculpture and installation art. (Note: we will not be covering photography, architecture, textiles, digital art, dance, etc.) 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 and discussing poems and interviews by artists such as Anne Carson, Tina Chang, Ama Codjoe, Terrence Hayes, Jason Koo, Rainer Maria Rilke, Tracy K. Smith, Wislawa Szymborska and Kara Walker, among others. Class sessions will meet at 144 Montague St, and assignments, poems and critiques will be shared via Wet Ink.

We strongly encourage all in-person workshop participants to wear masks. Workshop participants may be required to wear masks as an accessibility accommodation for other participants or the instructor.

Workshop Details

  • Teacher: Cindy Tran
  • Level: I
  • Dates: Sep 17–Oct 22, 2023 (Oct 1 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 10, 2023
  • Earlybird discount: $15 off through SUN, SEP 10
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 MarginsCopper Nickel and elsewhere.