FLASH EKPHRASTIC! is a call to all poets who love drawing, to help us celebrate the winners of the 2016 Williams Prize in Drawing competition! Using the "flash mob" experience as inspiration, FLASH EKPHRASTIC! is a mini national poetry competition, distinguished by a short deadline (only 2 weeks!) and stunning art!

Poets are offered the challenge of writing a poem (or poems) about one of the drawings included in the 2016 Williams Prize in Drawing Exhibition running from June 28-July 24, 2016 at the Silpe Gallery at the Hartford Art School in West Hartford, CT. Twenty-six poems will be selected by our poetry juror, Edwina Trentham, to be read at the FLASH EKPHRASTIC! event on July 9, 2016 from 1-3pm, and then to hang in the gallery with the drawings about which they were written. The winning poems will also be published on this website alongside the drawings.
(For poets planning their summer around poetry events, FLASH EKPHRASTIC! makes for a perfect poetry weekend in the Hartford area. Join us on Saturday afternoon, July 9 at the Silpe Gallery, and then spend your Sunday, July 10 at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival!)    

Click through this link to view the 2016 Williams Prize drawings and the artist's statement of each finalist.

How do I participate?

It's easy!
1) View the drawings on our website
2) read the artist's statements
3) write and submit your poem!

All poems will be reviewed by our poetry juror using the blind jury process. Poems selected will be read at the FLASH EKPHRASTIC! event on Saturday, July 9 and then exhibited in the gallery near the drawings about which they were written. If you are able to attend the event in person, and your poem has been selected by the juror, you will be invited to read your poem yourself. If you are not able to travel to the event, or you would prefer not to read your own poem, that's OK too, our poetry event host, Tom Nicotera, will read your poem for you. 


Deadline for poetry submissions: Friday, July 1, 2016
(All entries must arrive via snail mail, or hand-delivery, to our mailbox with the entry fee.)

The Artist for Artists Project
542 Hopmeadow Street, #139
Simsbury, CT  06070

The Prize-winning poems:
Our poetry juror, Edwina Trentham will select 26 poems to be read at the FLASH EKPHRASTIC! event and to then hang in the gallery for the duration of the 2016 Williams Prize in Drawing exhibition. She will select a First Prize poem, a Second Prize poem, a Third Prize poem, three Honorable Mention poems, and twenty Juror's Choice Poems. Each poet whose poem is selected as a prize-winner is welcome to choose whether they will read their work in the gallery, or if they would prefer that the poetry event host, Tom Nicotera, read their poem.

Entry Fee: $5 a poem, checks are the preferred method of payment, but if entries are hand-delivered to our mailbox in a sealed enveloped with $5 cash, we will accept them. (If poems are submitted without the entry fee, they will not be passed on to the juror. All entry fees are non-refundable. Please know that your $5 entry fee helps to cover the expenses of the FLASH EKPHRASTIC! event.)

Please make checks payable to: "The Artist for Artists Project"

Is there a limit to the number of poems I can submit?
No! You are welcome to write a poem about as many drawings in the exhibition as you'd like for the submission fee of $5 per poem.

Eligibility: The FLASH EKPHRASTIC! mini poetry competition is open to all poets, of all ages, from any corner of the United States. The only constraint is that all poems submitted must be written about one of the drawings included as a finalist in 2016 Williams Prize in Drawing competition, as posted here on our website. If you are able to view the work in person, before the July 1 deadline, in the Silpe Gallery, you are welcome to do that too!  Follow this link to view the slideshow of the drawings and to read the artist's statements of the 2016 Williams Prize finalists.

The website for the  Silpe Gallery at the Hartford Art School  includes their hours of operation, driving directions, and information about parking.

Procedures for submission:
Indicate at the top of your poem, the name of the drawing about which it is written. Do not include your name on the same sheet of paper as your poem. The poetry juror will be reading all poems by the "blind jury" process. Instead, include an additional paper with your poem that gives your name and contact information (email address, mailing address, and phone number).  Then snail mail or hand-deliver, with your entry fee ($5 a poem - Make checks payable to "The Artist for Artists Project") to our mailing address by July 1, 2016:

The Artist for Artists Project
542 Hopmeadow Street, #139
Simsbury, CT  06070

Who will read my poem (poems)?

The FLASH EKPHRASTIC! poetry event will be facilitated by our poetry event host, Tom Nicotera. Active for decades in the poetry world here in Connecticut, Tom has distinguished himself as an sensitive and affable host for poetry events in our region. Any poet whose poem is selected by our juror, but cannot be present to read his/her poem, can count on Tom to deliver a authentic reading of the work.

Further questions?
Please send us an email at info "at" artistforartistsproject "dot" org
(click through this link to use the "Contact Us" form on our website, it's easy!)

Or call, 860-844-8330 and leave us a message. We look forward to receiving your poems!

The Flash Ekphrastic! video - Celebrating the winners of the
2016 Williams Prize in Drawing Exhibition, July 9, 2016

Juror's Choice poem: "Recovery Lesson"
by Anita Pinatti (Connecticut)
After Steven Hughes' drawing "Her Name is Alice"

Read the poem

First Honorable Mention poem: "her name is Alice"
by Gwynneth Green (New Jersey)
After Steven Hughes' drawing "Her Name is Alice"

Read the poem

Juror's Choice poem: "Modern Ignatius"
by Lauren Amalia Redding (New York)
After Dennis Angel's drawing "Sheeler with Jars and Rocks"

Read the poem

The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org) explains the word "ekphrasis" as “description” in Greek. Their website then elaborates on the concept of ekphrastic poetry: "An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the 'action' of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning."

FLASH EKPHRASTIC! celebrates our 2016 Williams Prize drawings with ekphrastic poetry. View the drawings and poems below. Scroll down to the middle of the page to view the video.

Second Honorable Mention poem: "Unraveling Grief"
by Janet Krauss (Connecticut)
After Naomi Centeno's drawing "Letting Go"

Read the poem


The Winning Poems and the 2016 Poets' Choice drawings:

Our poetry juror: Edwina Trentham (http://edwinatrentham.com/)

Our poetry event host: Tom Nicotera

Edwina Trentham was born in Bermuda, where she spent most of her childhood. An Etherington Scholar, she received her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  She won an honorable mention in Hill-Stead Museum’s 2004 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival's National Competition and was a featured reader at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival in 2005. She has been a fellow at Yaddo and given many readings throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.


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Tom Nicotera has been a factory worker, street performer, mime, water/sewer repairman, copy editor, teacher and poet. In Washington, D.C., co-produced Jazz/Poetry Day at the Washington Monument and ran the Takoma Cafe Poetry Series in Maryland. In Connecticut, he edited Charter Oak Poets II, a collection from Hartford area writers. He has been published in numerous small press publications and his collection of poetry What Better Place to Be Than Here is due to be published later this summer (August 2016).  He is co-host of Bloomfield Library's Wintonbury Poetry Series. He is a member of the performance poetry trio, Not Just Any Tom, Vic and Terri and has appeared in many venues across Connecticut to Washington DC. He also plays the bodhran.

About her first book of poetry, Stumbling into the Light (Antrim House 2004), Robert Cording has written, “Edwina Trentham’s autobiographical sequence of poems is as painful, loving, and surprising as family life itself. Acutely observant, generous and rich in their details, these mature, accomplished poems ‘sift the clutter’ of memory to recall the often concealed and contradictory truths that lie at the heart of her upbringing in Bermuda.” Her work has been published in several journals, including Massachusetts Review and Prairie Schooner.

Edwina was a Professor of English at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, CT,  for twenty-seven years, teaching literature, composition and creative writing. 1989-2005, she was a visiting instructor in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where she taught courses in women's poetry, memoir and political poetry. She is the founding editor of Freshwater, a national poetry journal, and founder and organizer of the Freshwater Poetry Festival,both of which celebrated their Fifteenth anniversary in 2014. Since retiring from Asnuntuck in 2014, Edwina has devoted her time to teaching workshops at her home and other venues throughout the state.

Edwina is a recipient of a 2010 Solo Writers Fellowship funded through the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Fund and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and administered by the Greater Hartford Arts Council.

Second Prize poem: "Hecate's Disciple"
by Debbie Gilbert (Connecticut)
After Simeon Youngmann's drawing "Deferral and Omission"

Read the poem

Juror's Choice poem: "Wishing"
by Lara Slavtcheff (Connecticut)
After Elana Hagler's drawing "Laurie Reclining"

Read the poem

Third Prize poem: "Sometimes a Memory"
by Patricia Hale (Connecticut)
After Jason Covert's drawing "Limb"

Read the poem

Third Honorable Mention poem: "Untitled"
by Kimberley Perschmann (Connecticut)
After Elana Hagler's drawing "Laurie Reclining"

Read the poem

First Prize poem: "The Burning That Feeds You Like Hunger"
by Ginny Lowe Connors (Connecticut)
After Eleanor Adam's drawing "Though Much is Taken, Much Abides"

Read the poem

Juror's Choice poem: "His Stories are Killing Him"
by Ginny Lowe Connors (Connecticut)
After Nathan Opp's drawing "Man Looking Upward"

Read the poem