The subject of In the Frame is poetic ekphrasis: poems whose starting point or source of inspiration is a work of visual art. The authors of these sixteen essays, several of whom are poets as well as critics, have a twofold purpose: calling attention to the contribution women poets have made to this important genre of poetic writing and re-thinking ekphrastic poetry's motives and purposes. From Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop to Mary Jo Salter, C. D. Wright, and Susan Wheeler, many of our best women poets have done important work in this genre, and when they describe, confront, or speak for an image that is itself wordless, their motives are not only formal but aesthetic. Their poems also raise important questions, from a perspective that is often, but not always, gender-inflected about how art is made and displayed, experienced and valued, celebrated and commodified.
Jane Hedley is K. Laurence Stapleton Professor of English at Bryn Mawr College. Willard Spiegelman is the Hughes Professor of English at Southern Methodist University. Nick Halpern is an associate professor of English at North Carolina State University.