The Ohio Poetry Association (OPA) is releasing a new ekphrastic poetry anthology, titled, A Rustling and Waking Within. The collection is a celebration of art and poetry in Ohio. The 139-page perfect-bound book contains poems written by friends and members of OPA in response to various forms of art featured in Ohio’s museums, galleries and many other venues, including homes. Works by Ohio artists, both older art and more contemporary, are included. On the cover is a painting by Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903), titled, “The Roofs of Old Rouen, Gray Weather ” used by permission from the Toledo Museum of Art. The project marks the culmination of four OPA writing events that were held in major art centers in Ohio.
An initial release event, at which contributors will read their poems against a visual projection of the art to which they responded, is slated for Saturday, March 11, 2017, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, at the Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N. High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43210. The event is free and open to the public and promises to be of interest not just to poets and artists but also to the general public. Along with a multimedia poetry reading, the afternoon will feature food, beverages, and raffles. Books will be sold at the event and poets will be available to sign them.
A second release event will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St., Toledo, Ohio 43620, beginning at 2:00 pm. Several more events at Ohio’s art museums, coffee shops, and bookstores throughout the state are being planned. Information on these events can be found on the OPA website or on the OPA Facebook page as it becomes available.
The anthology was edited by Sharon Fish Mooney, herself a contributing poet and OPA member. Mooney organized the book by region of the state based on the art, and within each region, she organized poems based on when the art was created or displayed.
“The Ohio Poetry Association hopes that through this collection, the reader will want to view art that is currently located in Ohio or that has traveled through Ohio. We want the reader to get up close and personal by visiting the various venues where the art resides. Through these poems, we hope readers will experience some of what we as poets experienced when we viewed it.”
The book features an introduction by Terry Hermsen, Professor of English, Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. In his introduction, he suggests “that the primary task of ekphrastic writing, whether in the form of poetry or not, lies in seeking out a dialogue between that original silence” that is art “and the cradle of words” that is poetry. He goes on to state: “Through entering that open space which lies like a hidden valley somewhere between a painting and poem, we might come to know art all over again.”
A complete list of the 48 poets and poem titles featured in the book, as well as links to the art that inspired their poems, is available at the OPA website: ohiopoetryassn.org. Any organization that would like to sponsor a reading should email email@example.com.