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Poetry collides with photography in this ekphrastic poetry reading

Port Angeles Fine Arts Center
(Image credit: Port Angeles Fine Arts Center)

Ekphrastic poetry vividly describes a scene, a work of art, or in this case, photography. Poets from the North Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA, have been invited to take part in ekphrastic poetry reading hosted by Olympic Peninsula Authors, where they will collaborate on a photography project undertaken by students at Port Angeles High School.

Reflecting on the pandemic, students were asked to share how their lives had changed during and after the pandemic through photos for the exhibition The World on Pause: Youth Perspectives on a Generation – Defining Experience. Through a series of online workshops, students were guided on how to develop their documentary photography skills so that they could share their experiences through photos with a wider audience. 

• Read more: Best student cameras (opens in new tab)

In a poetry reading taking place at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center (opens in new tab), 15 poets will read their ekphrastic poems based on interpretations of individual photos from The World on Pause project. Funded by the National Endowment for Arts and Washington State Arts Commission, this is the first exhibition held by students in over a year due to the pandemic.

Alongside their photos, students were also asked to write a short statement, highlighting the thoughts and feelings they’ve tried to convey in their work. In an effort to make the conversation two-sided, there is a space in the gallery for visitors to write messages to the young photographers.

This collaboration came about through the work of Amy McIntyre, a local photographer and teaching artist, and Sarah Jane, the fine arts center gallery and program director. Together, they worked with teachers at Port Angeles High School to involve more than 500 teens in a conversation about their experiences of the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

The poetry reading will take place at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center on 24 February from 17:30-19:00 PST, but attendees have been advised to wrap up warm as the event is outside. Photos from The World on Pause exhibition can also be viewed online in the gallery at The Esther Webster Gallery (opens in new tab).

Read more:

Documentary photography in a pandemic (opens in new tab)
Best student cameras (opens in new tab)
Best camera for film students (opens in new tab)

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Hannah Rooke
Hannah Rooke

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.