PB POETRY FESTIVAL Announces Winners Of Ekphrastic Poetry Contest 2020

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PB POETRY FESTIVAL Announces Winners Of Ekphrastic Poetry Contest 2020

Susan R. Williamson, Director of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, has announced the winners of the 2020 Ekphrastic Poetry Contest, inspired by the ART COUTURE exhibition which was on display pre-pandemic at the Cornell Museum at Old School Square in Delray Beach.

To enter, writers were asked to submit up to 30 lines of original poetry inspired by one of eight images featured in the ART COUTURE: The Intersection of Fashion and Art exhibition that focused on contemporary art that is fashion-inspired, and on fashion designers' couture designs and illustrations. Fashion as art, important works of contemporary art, and couture designs featured on mannequins were all part of the exhibition. The Palm Beach Poetry Festival received 154 poetic entries in this year's contest, arriving from 30 states and 17 different countries.

The first place winner was art historian and poet Erika Michael of Woodway, WA for her poem Shtick, A Riff on Adhesif for which she received a $100 prize. The poem was inspired by the image Adhesif by Caroline Dechamby.

The next four winners each received $25 and in order were:

+ Vivian Shipley of North Haven, CT for An Old Husband's Tale, inspired by Meghan by Rick Lazes.

+ Sheila Kelly of Pittsburgh, PA for Skin, inspired by Expensive Taste by Becky Ross.

+ Michelle Winkler of West Palm Beach, FL for Sonnet for 2020, inspired by Dorian Gray by Sonia Sanchez Arias.

+ Django Bisous of Key West, FL and Toronto, ON for Modern Masque for Mondrian, inspired by Adhesif by Caroline Dechamby.

Their winning poems - along with another five "honorable mentions" - are published on the Poetry Festival's website at http://www.palmbeachpoetryfestival.org. The five winners will also be published in the May issue of South Florida Poetry Journal.

"I want to thank all of the poets who entered this year's contest-both those who were selected and those who were not-because they're all in different ways deserving," said Stephen Gibson, author of seven poetry collections, most recently, Self-Portrait in a Door-Length Mirror, winner of the 2017 Miller Williams Prize, selected by Billy Collins and nominated for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

This year's winning ekphrastic poem:

Shtick, A Riff on Adhesif

By Erika Michael

French for glue, the picture sticks to the mind's recollection of
collecting, those black-framed rectangles on the white stucco
walls of Dutch rooms, Vermeer's interiors with maps and bricks
and such, old spatial tricks like seeing through a darkened box,
how Piet the painter morphed branches and trunks into webs like
leaded edges of stained glass in churches around Paris when he
lived in the digs of the Theosophical Society, Mme. Blavatsky's
psychic order of occult spiritual views inspiring his theory on the
use of hues that can't be mixed from others - put a lid on green -
and were not to drift beyond their grid. Some dodged those picky
rules, no mentor's such a fool they don't occasionally push the
edge of self-restraint and break the code, but only when their Shtick
sustains the neoplastic look of it. Oh, Broadway Boogie Woogie
killed it with those bits of tape applied in rhythm rows - all that
frenzied beat of drums from Broadway clubs & shows. The tape
suspended from the artist's fingertip, what role d'you think it plays
as she surveys her wall. Rebirth of Montparnasse? Not a bad call!
This Mondrian thing flows - nifty rigor of her tresses, outfit's hot,
a twenties take on sixties Saint Laurent. De Stijl still rocks. I like
the flawless fit around her derriere. Neo-neoplastic bonding there.


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