EKPHRASIS: Poetry and Art in Conversation

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Thursday, February 15, 7-9pm at the Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth St., Detroit

Ekphrasis is a Greek word for poetry about art. This event takes its inspiration from that word in pairing poets with visual artists. Five poets have been writing about five artists’ work for the last few months. Come hear their poems and see the art that inspired it on display. Join us on Thursday, February 15 for this reading and pop-up gallery and a panel discussion with the artists.

Matthew Landrum holds an MFA from Bennington College. His poems and translations have recently appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, AGNI, Clarion Review, and Pusteblume. His chapbook The Homeland –– Translations from the German of Katharina Müller was published by Coldhub Press in 2017.

Christina Kallery has been previously published in Failbetter, Rattle, The Hiram Poetry Review, The MacGuffin, Poetry Motel and other publications. She holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and recently moved to New York from the Detroit area.

Christine Darragh is a poet, bookbinder, and design consultant. Her work has appeared in Structo Magazine and Topology Magazine. She lives in Ann Arbor.

Marlin M. Jenkins was born and raised in Detroit and studied poetry in University of Michigan's MFA program. His writings have been given homes by Indiana Review, Salt Hill, and The Journal, among other publications. He is a former teaching artist in Detroit Public Schools with InsideOut Literary Arts, and a current editor for the social justice poetry journal HEArt Online.

Ronica (Bhattacharya) Dhar was born in Southfield, raised in Troy, and recently returned to Detroit after a dozen years in New York. She authored Bijou Roy (St. Martin’s, 2010), a novel set partially in Michigan. Her tiny collection of palm-in-the-hand stories titled Textiles is available at Signal-Return.

Leah Waldo is a sculptor whose work focuses on self-exploration, introspection, and contemplation. Drawing inspiration from her environment, she is also strongly influenced by living and traveling abroad, especially from her time in Japan and the Middle East. Their traditions, architecture, and reverence for nature have significantly impacted her artistic practice. She has received numerous awards, including the Michigan Ceramic Arts Association’s Emerging Artist (2015), and exhibited at museums and galleries nationally, including the Dennos Art Museum and the Detroit Artists Market.

Michelle Johnston began working in commercial entomology in 2006 while working towards her Bachelors in Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Pinning specimen for museums, editorial, television and fine art displays. Shortly after learning the craft she began dreaming up her own whimsical worlds, started her own business and began teaching insect pinning classes publicly and privately for all ages. Her work is featured in various shops across the United States and she is currently working on online courses for amateur insect enthusiasts.

Angelo-David Sherman is a self-taught mixed media artist whose work reflects on current topics and past history that relates to the African American experience. He received a gold medal from The Scarab Club and received awards from The Grosse Point Art Association. Sherman has exhibited in many galleries in Detroit and has work in private collections in Canada and Chicago He was commissioned by Red Bull Energy Drink Company for the Ann Arbor Art Fair and recently participated in a group art show at the The Charles Wright Museum Of African American History.

Mandisa Smith is a mother, wife, artist and lifelong Detroiter. Her current obsession is fiber art, specifically felting. She is the co-owner of Detroit Fiber Works on Livernois (“The Avenue of Fashion”) in Northwest Detroit, and a former winner of the Knight Arts Challenge. “I am drawn to felting for many reasons. The repetitive actions required to transform wool fibers into an object are very labor intensive, but at the same time, nearly meditative. I like the fact that is virtually impossible to create the exact same thing twice. I like that every piece I create is truly an original work of art.”

Justin Milhouse was born and raised in Detroit. He is a photographer and videographer. His work explores urban landscapes and themes of social justice.