Writing into Art 18/19 June, 2013

full name / name of organization: 
David Kinloch / University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
contact email: 


The relationship between literature and the visual arts has a long and complex history which includes poets responses to iconic works of art such as Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' and notable collaborations between artists and poets such as those between Auden and Henry Moore and, more recently, Philip Gross and Simon Denison. Beyond poetry, the tales of Saki and Vernon Lee and the fiction of A. S. Byatt feature descriptions of fictional works of art.

This Arts and Humanities Research Council sponsored conference responds to a renewed interest among both theorists and practitioners, an interest signaled by a rise in 'picture poems', numerous collaborations between poets and artists and a recent crop of critical books on poetry and the visual arts by, among others, Stephen Cheeke, David Kennedy and Liliane Louvel.

Writing into Art is aimed particularly at poets and writers in general interested in ekphrasis and at visual artists whose work involves the use of text. While the emphasis will be on practice-led responses to the visual arts, academics with an interest in experimental theoretical models are also welcome. Papers may be in traditional academic format but we are happy to consider alternative approaches such as brief presentations of work in progress accompanied by critical reflection. We would be particularly interested in joint papers on artist/poet collaborations.

Keynote speakers will include the award winning American poet and translator, Cole Swensen noted for her response to the visual art traditions of America and France and British poet and critic, David Kennedy whose most recent book The Ekphrastic Encounter in Contemporary British Poetry and Elsewhere surveys contemporary poetry that responds to the visual arts from a range of theoretical perspectives.

The conference programme combines critical and creative practice. The afternoon of the second day of the conference will be devoted to two practice-based workshops that will elicit responses to the collections at Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, one led by Cole Swensen, the other by a leading British artist.

Potential topics for papers might include but are not limited to:

>Ekphrasis as practice-led research
>Visual art that 'reads' poetry
>Ekphrasis and craft
>Ekphrasis and form
>Ekphrasis as translation
>Ekphrasis and new media
>Ekphrasis and pedagogy
>Ekphrasis and the poetic sequence
>Artist/poet collaborations: challenges and rewards
>The role of works of art in art in modern and contemporary fiction.

Proposals for 20 minute papers exploring aspects of ekphrasis are invited. Please send abstracts of no more than 600 words plus a short biography to kinloch.david1@gmail.com

Deadline for abstracts is 5 January 2013. We will inform participants of acceptance by 1 February.

To encourage postgraduate participation a prize of £100 will be awarded to each of the three best abstracts submitted by a postgraduate student. Please include details of your University or College affiliation and your student registration number in your biography. Further information will be made available at www.writingintoart.wordpress.com