E365 is a project I am embarking on beginning November 1st, 2017 in which I am committing, here in writing, to create a literary work about a work of art every single day for a year.
Although I’ve written for over 40 years now, I’ve been incredibly reluctant to call myself a writer or to share my work. It’s been a constant struggle for me to find a subject that inspires me enough to shut out the critical voices (especially the one in my head) and the nagging feeling that no one is going to read or care about what I write. Although I sincerely hope someone does read this blog and get something out of it, this project is for and about me. The audience and outcome of this writing project is secondary. I’m here to establish a regular writing practice once and for all. Writing about art is my chosen means of achieving that end.
As far as the title of the project goes, “E” stands for Ekphrastic. While the bulk of what I write about will be visual art, I hope to write about music and movies and TV shows and other works of poetry and literature – anything I consider art (did I mention this project is all about me?). Also, not all of my output will be poetry (although I suspect a lot of it will be). The 365 part…hopefully that is self explanatory.
I actually owe the idea of Ekphrastic writing a huge debt of gratitude. On January 24th of 2015, I attended Keep St. Pete Lit’s (KSPL) “Fantastic Ekphrastic” event and a whole new world opened up to me. Not only did I find out that writing about visual art was an actual thing, it was the first time I heard about KSPL. When they started offering writing classes in June of that year I jumped on the chance immediately…seriously, I attended the very first class they offered. What I found within that organization was a local literary community peopled with unpretentious, creative souls; teachers dedicated to imparting their knowledge in a welcoming, safe environment and fellow students looking to expand their skills and have their voices heard. It is because of my involvement with KSPL that I now call myself a writer. Because of the mentorship I received there, I have gone on to publicly perform my own ekphrastic writing. And I actually won KSPL’s Fantastic Ekphrastic competition in February, 2017.
Ekphrastic writing has changed my life for the better. If there is a piece of art that inspires you, I highly suggest you give it a try.