Library hosts ekphrastic poetry contest

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Poets in the area are encouraged to take part in the Ekphrastic Poetry Reading and Contest sponsored by the Friendswood Library.

Ekphrastic poetry is defined by library staff member Matt Riley as poems about a vivid description of a scene or more commonly a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the action of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.

Many might remember hearing the term by a teacher who was lecturing on Homer’s The Iliad. The speaker in the work elaborately describes the shield of Achilles in approximately 150 poetic lines. This was an ekphrastic poem.

The Greeks used the term ekphrasis to apply to the skill of describing a thing with vivid detail. Now the term ekphrastic poem refers more to a work about a piece of art.

To be considered for the reading and contest at the library, poets can submit 1-3 original ekphrastic poems as Word documents. They must be sent by July 1, to Riley at [email protected]

The poems should depict artwork that is in the public domain or in which the poet holds copyright.

The contest will be judged by a blind jury Saturday, August 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the library.

The library is located at 416 S. Friendswood Drive in Friendswood.

For more information on the contest, go to

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