EKPHRASTIC?  It means poetry inspired by art. 

MRAC is sponsoring a special poetry workshop experience in collaboration with the Annual End-of-Year MRAC Ekphrastic Art Show.

One of our poetry leaders, Leonard Belasco, who launched the inspirational Poets Table series in 2016, is offering two participatory stand-alone workshops (the first of which took place on October 6th) focussing on the art of writing Ekphrastic poems.

The workshop will take place at MRAC on 

Saturday, November 3rd from 1:00 - 4:30pm.

The cost of admission will be $15



Ekphrastic Extravaganza Poetry Workshop November 3rd 2018

If all spaces in the workshop are full when you register, you may choose to receive a refund, or be able to attend an additional workshop which may be scheduled at MRAC between November 4th and November 18th, or you may participate in an online workshop, all of which will be conducted by Leonard Belasco.

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If you are unable to attend the November 3rd 2018 Workshop but would be interested in future workshops, please feel free to complete the form below and we will let you know about future dates in advance of there being openly offered on our website, guaranteeing you a seat in future workshops!

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Leonard will trace the long history of the Ekphrastic tradition going back to the Greeks and bring it up to the present. 

If you look closely at poetry books in your personal library, it is very likely that you’ll find at least one poem about an art work. If you like it. Make a dozen copies and bring them to the workshop to share with the rest of the participants.

Leonard will be providing a variety of ekphrastic poems for close reading and discussion. He will present strategies for writing these poems that have been used over time and some that are uniquely of our time.

The goal for the sessions will be to generate a large number of poems to put on display next to or under a host of artworks that will be on the wall for the festivities at MRAC on DEC. 2. With this in mind we are inviting all MRAC Humanities Members and friends in the community to participate. If you’ve never written, or shared a poem before you’re as welcome as our long time poetry associates.

Even children over 13 with an interest in writing are welcome.  You and a grandchild might have fun composing a poem together for one of the paintings. Some work written in the workshops will likely be shared in draft form. During the course of the workshop participants will have a chance to get feedback from others. As each participant develops his or her poem(s) into a final draft Leonard will provide on-line guidance if requested. Check your calendar, sign up today to reserve your seat for the NOV 3 Workshop!

In order to cover MRAC’S operating expenses, cost of admission will be $15.  Middle School and High School Students over the age of 13 will be admitted free.

Those who are not members can also enter gratis by taking this opportunity to join MRAC at the special rate of $50 (a $10 reduction) only being offered in conjunction with our EKPHRASTIC EXTRAVAGANZA.  What a great chance for all of us to hang out, get to know each other better and create art together!


Leonard Belasco is a lifelong resident of Germantown, one of the city’s most vibrant artistic communities. An English and Creative Writing teacher for 36 years in the Philadelphia public schools, he makes time in retirement to mentor young teachers, is active in a community garden that provides fresh produce to a church cupboard, plays jazz drums, is studying West African drumming, is an old time yo-yo master and is a doting grandfather to four incredible members of the next generation.

Over the years he co-founded and co-edited two ground breaking journals: About Education, a magazine for creative educators and The Insect Trust Gazette, an avant-garde publication inspired by William Burroughs (one of the contributors) and the Dada movement. Belasco studied with Stephen Spender, Robert Creeley and May Sarton.  He was nurtured by a host of fine poets, including William Matthews, Cleopatra Mathis, Lisel Mueller, Sidney Lea and Christopher Gilbert during several sojourns at the Frost Place in New Hampshire.

Belasco is the founder and facilitator of the Poets Table workshops at MRAC. He recently performed a work he wrote honoring the legendary musician Sun Ra in front of a 15 piece band at World Café Live and is planning a bi-weekly radio show featuring jazz vocalists and their accompanists which will air on G-Town radio’s new FM frequency 92.9. Ekphrastic poetry is one of his special passions.