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Poetry Off The Wall: Part One, Kim Carlson

Today’s post comes from Gabrielle Miranda, class of 2018 and Art Center Student Docent.

The first National Poetry Month was held during the month of April in 1996. In order to partake in what marks the twentieth year of Poetry Month, I collaborated with my creative writing class to create a video series of poems inspired by works of art at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. My class, taught by poet and professor Paul Kane, is called “Advanced Creative Writing: Verse” and is a year-long course comprised of ten students. During the first semester Professor Kane gave us a writing prompt for each week, one of them being an exploration of ekphrasis. Ekphrasis is defined as “a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art” and given the Art Center’s vast collection we were able to write poems based on a variety of pieces.

After turning in the assignment, we each took turns reading our poems in front of the artwork. As a docent, I found it remarkable and rewarding to experience works of art I had been looking at in passing all year in a new light via poetry. And with that and the help of Margaret Vetare and Vassar Office of Communications came Poetry Off the Wall!

This inaugural video in the series features poet Kim Carlson, who is in her junior year and serves on the Executive Board of Wordsmiths, Vassar’s poetry club. Kim is a Women’s Studies and English double major and has been writing poems since she was nine. Her poem “Annalee” draws inspiration from Hedda Sterne’s 1952 painting Annalee Newman. Sterne once said, “I have a feeling that in art the need to understand and the need to communicate are one.” Please enjoy what Kim’s poem communicates as well as what’s yet to come in the Poetry Off the Wall series!


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