Thursday, February 23, 2012

You Say Ekphrasis, I Say Ekphrasis

Good news: Two copies of my chapbook Nocturnes arrived by overnight mail today, in time for the ekphrasis poetry reading tonight at the McLean County Arts Center! And a linocut of the cover art, Awake Before Dawn, by Nashay Antoinette Jones, aka "Nyela," as she has signed it, that I can hold up as an example of "reverse ekphrasis." She created the image based on an image in one of the poems! Usually ekphrasis goes the other way.

Bad news: The Bloomington Post Office processing facility is scheduled to close by midsummer....  Sigh.

How do you say ekphrasis? A recent newspaper article on another ekphrasis event this week told us to pronounce it ECK-fray-sis. But I usually hear it pronounced ek-FRAS- iss in the poetry community, partly because another word, possibly made up, "ekphrastic," is pronounced ek-FRAS-tick. Like fantastic.

If you try to say the long "a" in ECK-fray-sis, the accent on the first syllable sort of forces it back into the short "a." The online dictionary audible pronunciation is more like EK-fruh-sis, the middle syllable being like the schwa "upside-down e" sound.

Don't worry. If I attempt to address this issue in tonight's reading, I will just sing it.

Anyhoo, many thanks to Hyacinth Girl Press, Margaret Bashaar (editor), Sarah Reck (internal layout), Hudson Rio (graphic design), and the beautiful Nyela, aka Nashay Antoinette Jones (cover artist), for their work on Nocturnes. I'll be getting the rest of my copies at the AWP Conference next week, and the press will ship book orders after that event, too.

Tonight I look forward to hearing the poems of Jannett Highfill, guest poet, reading her art-related poems from Light Blessings Drifting Together, still forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

And the new "ekphrastic" work of Candace Armstrong and Janice Witherspoon Neuleib! They took the 6-week ekphrasis class at the MCAC and wrote a wonderful bunch of poems based on pastel drawings by John Cassidy, still up in the smaller gallery, where we will be reading, and black and white photographs by Rhondal McKinney and Jin Lee, recently up but just taken down from the large gallery. They also responded to paintings from art history. Come join us at 7:30!


Anonymous said...

Congrats KK on your chapbook! I will get a copy next week when I share a table with Margaret. I am so happy for you! Ellen

Kathleen said...

Thanks, Ellen. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Kathleen said...

Jannett's art-related poems were poems at large in the world, as it turned out! The book contains other stuff!