The Ekphrastic Encounter in Contemporary British Poetry and Elsewhere

The Ekphrastic Encounter in Contemporary British Poetry and Elsewhere

By: David Kennedy (author)Hardback

More than 4 weeks availability


Examining a wide range of ekphrastic poems, David Kennedy argues that contemporary British poets writing out of both mainstream and avant-garde traditions challenge established critical models of ekphrasis with work that is more complex than representational or counter-representational responses to paintings in museums and galleries. Even when the poem appears to be straightforwardly representational, it is often selectively so, producing a 'virtual' work that doesn't exist in actuality. Poets such as Kelvin Corcoran, Peter Hughes, and Gillian Clarke, Kennedy suggests, relish the ekphrastic encounter as one in which word and image become mutually destabilizing. Similarly, other poets engage with the source artwork as a performance that participates in the ethical realm. Showing that the ethical turn in ekphrastic poetry is often powerfully gendered, Kennedy also surveys a range of ekphrastic poets from the Renaissance and nineteenth century to trace a tradition of female ekphrastic poetry that includes Pauline Stainer and Frances Presley. Kennedy concludes with a critique of ekphrastic exercises in creative writing teaching, proposing that ekphrastic writing that takes greater account of performance spectatorship may offer more fruitful models for the classroom than the narrativizing of images.

Create a review

About Author

David Kennedy is Senior Lecturer in English & Creative Writing at the University of Hull. He is the author of Elegy; Douglas Dunn; and co-author of a forthcoming study of British women's experimental poetry 1970-2010.


Contents: Introduction; 'The shape of time': ekphrasis and the contemporary moment; Part 1 The Ekphrastic Encounter: The ekphrastic encounter: representation, enquiry and critique; Reframing the ekphrastic canon from Keats to Ashbery. Part 2 The Contemporary British Ekphrastic Poem: Possible scenes: ekphrasis and trends in post-war British poetry; Varieties of ekphrasis: framing histories, framed narratives. Part 3 Ekphrasis and the Female: Shifting mirrors: re-theorizing the female gaze and voice; Recuperable traditions, contemporary voices. Part 4 Beyond Painting: Meta-pictures and meta-languages: philosophy and ekphrasis; Inside the image: ekphrasis in film and tv; Ideal points, virtual truths: poems about photographs. Part 5 Ekphrasis and Creative Writing: From creative writing to poetic enquiry; Works cited; Index.

Product Details

  • publication date: 28/04/2012
  • ISBN13: 9781409418801
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 200
  • ID: 9781409418801
  • weight: 530
  • ISBN10: 1409418804

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly