First Meeting of "Poetry and the Photograph: Ekphrasis and Beyond"

Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 5:00am to 7:00am
Poetry Center - Helen S. Schaefer Building 1508 East Helen Street (At Vine Avenue) Tucson, AZ 85721 United States  

Online registration for this course now available here.

Taught by Samuel Ace
Six Saturdays, October 18 through December 6
(no class on Nov 1 or Nov 29)
12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.
Tuition: $170

[Photography is] like taking little flashes in your notebook, little flashes of thought. ― Allen Ginsberg

A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know. ― Diane Arbus

Ultimately — or at the limit — in order to see a photograph well, it is best to look away or close your eyes. ‘The necessary condition for an image is sight’ Janouch told Kafka; and Kafka smiled and replied: ‘We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. My stories are a way of shutting my eyes.’ ― Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography

In this workshop, we will examine the parallel and often overlapping impulses of photography and poetry. We will look at images created by photographers working in documentary (e.g., Dorothea Lange, W. Eugene Smith, Nan Goldin), portrait (e.g., Vivian Maier, Sally Mann, Catherine Opie), and landscape (e.g., Emmet Gowan, Richard Misrach, Todd Hido). We will also consider the work of photographers who have made extensive use of text, as well as poets who have used photographs and ekphrasis as an integral part of their practice. Through prompts and project-based inquiry, both within the workshop and in take-home assignments, students will have the opportunity to produce and share writing based on the conceptual frameworks explored in the class. At least one field trip to the Center for Creative Photography will take place during the course. As the emphasis in the workshop is on writing, students are not required to have a camera. And although the workshop is geared to poets, prose writers are welcome.