We are both members of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and we have both taught school poetry workshops for the Maryland State Arts Council's Artist-in-Education program.
Vonnie's writing is imbued with the magic of fairy tales and fantasy. Some of her poems are realistic, but even those have a sense of magical sense of awe about the natural world.
Vonnie's essay on the role of monsters and magic in modern culture will appear in the Summer 2011 issue of Little Patuxent Review.
If you can't wait until then, pick up a copy of her new book, The Greener Forest, which I blogged about here.
For a taste of the fantastic, click here to read Vonnie's poem "Dragons" in EMG-Zine, which specializes in fantasy and SF.
I'm sharing her ekphrastic poem, "At the Asian Art Center, February 21." The speaker in the poem is transported, not by fairies, but by a work of art.
At the Asian Art Center, February 21
by Vonnie Winslow Crist
Hee-Young Kim has written
on four horizontal banners pressed
edge to edge like
river, grass, mountain, sky.
Strokes on these panels
translate odes chanted
by air into
the ear of Hee-Young.
And she, treasured interpreter, used
brush, paper, inkstone, ink stick
to paint mementoes of
the wind’s meeting
beneath the Coincident Moon
with shy bamboo –
in her robe of silvered jade.
Read the rest of the poem at Vonnie's website.
In this ekphrastic poem prompt, go beyond simply reacting to a work of art. Take some time to imagine the artist and his or her process in creating the painting, sculpture, graffiti.
Extension for upper elementary/middle school:
Linda Sue Park's Newbery Award winning novel A Single Shard is a work of historical fiction, but it could also be a response to today's prompt. Have students discuss how a work of art -- even a fragment -- could inspire an entire novel.
My month of Maryland poets continues tomorrow. National Poetry Month is almost over.