Poetry Weekend

November 13-14, 2021

The Great Books Poetry Weekend is held annually in November. Each year, the weekend includes three discussions along with a poetry activity that entertains and involves all the participants.


In 2020, Poetry Weekend tackled form. In 2021 we will examine the amazing ways that poets have responded to works of art.


Join us on November 13-14, 2021 via Zoom for an intensive two days of discussion, instruction and readings. This year’s focus will be ekphrastic poetry. Initially referring to the visual arts, ekphrastic poetry has come to embrace all art forms.

“A common definition of ekphrasis is descriptive writing influenced by the visual arts. Beyond the written word, however, responding to art can engender self-reflection, creativity, and help writers to build characters, plots, and settings.”

The Ekphrastic Writer: Creating Art-Influenced Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction (McFarland, 2020)

Going back as far as Homer, ekphrastic poems serve to enrich our perception as well as enhance and expand our ability to interact in unique ways with works of art. 


We are fortunate to have Janée Baugher, one of the foremost authorities on ekphrastic poetry, as our guest presenter. She is the author of The Ekphrastic Writer: Creating Art-Influenced Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction (McFarland, 2020), as well as two ekphrastic poetry collections, Coördinates of Yes (Ahadada Books, 2010) and The Body’s Physics (Tebot Bach, 2010). Ms. Baugher regularly collaborates with choreographers, dancers, composers, and visual artists. Her work has been adapted for the stage and set to music. She teaches Creative Writing in Seattle and is currently a poetry reader for the literary journal Boulevard.


Weekend Overview

Saturday will be devoted to morning and afternoon poetry discussion groups followed by an Open Mic. Poems will be selected from classical, romantic and contemporary poets.


On Sunday morning, Janée Baugher will give an interactive talk introducing the range and variety of ekphrastic poetry. In the afternoon, she will read a selection of her own ekphrastic poems. There will be ample breaks between and during sessions.


Stay tuned for more details as well as on-line registration information.

If you'd like to view a list of poems that were discussed in past years during Poetry Weekend and at Asilomar Weekend, you can find a list here (sorted by date) or here (sorted by author)

For a list of books about poetry, please click here.

Questions? Please send email to Ginni Saunders, ginnisaunders@gmail.com.