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Ekphrastic Arts Festival

The Center for Creative Work presents

The 5th Annual Ekphrastic Arts Festival

In conjunction with the Spring 2014 Dionysia

6-8 p.m. April 23 (Exhibit, performances, and prizes for Ekphrastic art competition)

University of Houston Honors College students, faculty, and staff and students from the UH School of Art are invited to submit your work! We're looking for Ekphrastic Art: short films or drama, music, dance, poetry, flash fiction, lyric essays, paintings, sculpture, and photography. Ekphrastic art attempts to confront, interpret, inhabit, and speak to another work of art.

Submissions should be inspired by:

The Great Books


This year's theme: "Home and Homecoming"

Prizes for top entries.

Deadline to submit: Monday, April 14, 2014

What is Ekphrastic Art?

In the ancient world, ekphrasis was an intensive description of some thing. The word comes from the Greek ek (out) and phrasis (expression). Ekphrazein meant to proclaim an object by name. It is a kind of calling into being through words. Think of the famous description of the Shield of Achilles in Book 18 of Homer’s Iliad, for example. Over the centuries, the definition has broadened. Ekphrastic art is now understood to be art from one medium that responds to art from another medium: a poem that is written in reaction to a piece of music, or a musical score replying to a work of visual art. Ekphrastic art offers an interpretation of sorts. It attempts to inhabit or confront, to speak to or to speak against, to re-envision the art to which it is responding. It attempts, in the words of Ezra Pound, to “Make it new!” Look at how the contemporary poet, Louise Glück, reimagines the story of Achilles and Patroclus

For our purposes, the art to which you should be responding are any of the Great Books which you might come across in a Human Situation class. Or, you may respond instead to this year’s theme: War and Rage. We’re looking for films, music, dance, poetry, flash fiction, lyric essays, paintings, sculpture, and photography.