POET: STELLA MAZUR PREDA
When did you start writing poetry?
I began writing poetry rather late in life. When I was 42, my father passed away. After his death, as I would walk my little dog, I would have words and phrases playing games in my mind. I began to carry a pen and small notepad in my pocket and would stop in our walks to jot down thoughts and phrases as they came. When I got home, I found myself trying to organize these thoughts into lines that would eventually become a poem.
It wasn’t until 1999, when I discovered and joined Tower Poetry, that I found that a lot of what I wrote was gibberish! Over the years I learned a lot at Tower, most of all you write and then edit, sometimes several times.
Why do you write poetry?
I write poetry because it gives me a sense of satisfaction to be able to control all the words that play in my mind. I have always loved “words” as I was an elementary school teacher for 33 years. Poetry writing became a release for me after a day of teaching, a calming influence, a time to contemplate the world around me, a voice different to what I used every day.
What is the best advice you have ever received and would share with new poets?
Read! Read! Read! Reading is as much a part of poetry as writing! And then Edit! Edit! Edit! Secondly join a poetry group such as Tower. Feedback from fellow poets is invaluable to your writing process.
Can you comment on your process?
I look for ideas that are often sparked by a phrase or quotation in a book that I am reading. Also, I often find my writing inspired by images that I see whether it be art, paintings or nature. I jot down ideas as they come, even if it is while I am in bed for the night. I keep a pen and notepad handy in the night table drawer. I guess my process of writing can best be described by a poem I wrote:
dig for thoughts
plant words prune phrases
weed out redundancy
revisions nurture growth
we listen — voices spark the mind
imagery and metaphors thrive
produce early buds
blossoms open blend together
colours of language
the poems within revealed
© Stella Mazur Preda
We didn’t hear back from the Artist that was scheduled for July, so I, your humble TPS Web Coordinator & Blogger, have supplied a mixed-media piece created in response to Stella Mazur Preda’s stunning poem, “The Garden.” As I’ve already been featured, you can read more about my process here.
ARTIST: Nicola Schneider
PoARTry is based on an event that the Tower Poetry Society does each year. Poets pick an artwork on display, created by members of the local art gallery — Carnegie Gallery — that inspires them to write poetry, which is a thing called – EKPHRASTIC POETRY…. Ek What? Ekphrastic means a “description” in Greek. An ekphrastic poem is a colourfully written description of a piece of art. This can be anything from ancient poet Homer describing Achilles’s ornate shield in The Iliad to Ode to a Grecian Urn by John Keats. Ekphrastic poetry may include literal descriptions of a work of art, the poet’s mood in response to a work of art, metaphorical associations inspired by a work of art, or personal memories about a work of art.
Five ways to write an Ekphrastic poem or story.
- Describe what you see
- Describe what’s happening beyond the frame
- Write from the perspective of the artist
- Give voice to a major or minor character in the image
- Explain your response to the art
During Covid, TPS in collaboration with Carnegie Gallery decided to spin this process a different way… instead of words describing art, poets were invited to submit poems for artists to select from to inspire visual art… Ekphrastic Reversed.
We decided to try again with PoArtry and have been running this series since February; each month featuring a Poet and a Visual Artist… and we now introduce the 6th poet…
Using ‘Five ways to write an Ekphrastic poem or story’ as a guideline, I have created…
Five ways to create an Ekphrastic visual art piece:
- Depict what you see in your mind’s eye. (What image unfolds in your imagination as you read the poem aloud. Yes, poems are best read out loud!)
- Depict literal, implied, and personal connections and meanings.
- Create from the perspective of poet or any other character/object in the poem.
- You might even consider a series of pieces inspired by the levels of meaning in a poem.
- Depict your response to the poem.
Why don’t you give it a try? Take another read through Stella’s Poem and create! Make some art, write a response poem, quick doodle, whatever! Share your work several ways and we will feature it later in the month:
- Facebook Group
- Instagram: tag @towerpoetrysocietycanada & use #tpsPoARTryShare
- email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re in the neighbourhood…
WE HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED THIS SIXTH DANCE OF POETRY AND VISUAL ART.
ARTISTS, there are poems still available to choose from and time to get in on the project… https://towerpoetry.ca/po-art-ry-poems/
POETS, stay tuned… we may open up submissions towards the end of 2023. As for what will happen with PoARTry, we don’t know.
This is an organic project, and we are thinking of a possible exhibit or publication. Who knows?! What we do know is that we have a lot of exciting work by talented poets and artists to share with you each month!