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Poets Inspiring Artists/Artists Inspiring Poets/An Invitation

My poetry comes from secret messages from nature, from a moment when a sentence, a phrase captures me with its rhythm and the words tumble onto the page. Mostly, my poetry is formed by wild, willful words that seek their own space and way to the page and to the receptive reader.

As a member of the National League of Pen Women, Yucca Chapter, I have had a very different writing experience. Generating poetry from the art work of the artist members.

After being given an opportunity to view artists’ works, the poets chose one or two paintings that they felt inspired a poem.

I chose two works that held mystery and emotion within the paint and canvas. One is entitled The Letter by Janine Wilson and the other Never Too Old To Hold Hands by Sally Bryant. With these two paintings the words were drawn to the page almost immediately. I was touched by the emotions they stirred in me and by the words they inspired.

The poems and the art work will be on display at Tortuga Gallery from March 6, 5-8 through March 28, 6-8.

Turning the process around, artists chose passages or parts of poems and created artwork that those words inspired. One particularly dynamic piece of art was taken from a passage in Church of My Heart, the writings of my sister, Debra, about her experiences at the Petroglyph Park. Claire Hurrey has captured the sense of being in the park and the experience of seeing an owl take flight.

If you would like to hear the poets read while viewing the art they chose to write about, there is a “meet the artists” event on Sunday March 8, 2-4.

I hope you will be able to join us and share this experience in ekphrasis (a dramatic description of a work of art. In this case a poem inspired by artwork).


The Owl by Claire Hurrey One of the exceptional works of art in the show.


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