Juan Morales leads workshop in art-inspired poetry


  • Courtesy Juan Morales
The art of ekphrastic poetry explores art through multiple avenues. An ekphrastic poet draws inspiration from visual art — either created by themselves or by another — and examines the subject or style of the artwork in a new way. The combination of artistic expression speaks to the spirit of Arts Month, which runs throughout October here in Colorado Springs.

Pueblo-based poet Juan Morales has been incorporating ekphrastic poetry into his own work since attending a workshop in 2012 that drew inspiration from a Latino art exhibit at the Smithsonian. On Oct. 4, he'll be leading a workshop in ekphrastic poetry inside the Galleries of Contemporary Art’s Great Expectations exhibit.

He'll also read some of his own work, while displaying the visual art that inspired it, then lead participants through some exercises that utilize the art on the walls. “I don’t know what art is currently being featured,” Morales says, “so I think there is a level of spontaneity that happens with good writing that I hope we can accomplish with this exercise.”

Morales, whose third volume of poetry The Handyman’s Guide to End Times will be published next fall, is excited to take part in Arts Month in Colorado Springs, and not just because he grew up here.

“[It’s] a good way to show the different varieties of mediums that artists are using to express themselves along the Front Range," he says. "We have similar projects in Pueblo with the Pueblo Arts Alliance, but it’s nice to see our counterpart in Colorado Springs doing great work.”

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