Your Voice Inside the Picture: Ekphrastic Poetry with Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

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“That you are here…that life exists and identity. That the powerful [picture] goes on, and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

— Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society

You can find inspiration for poetry everywhere! In this two-week workshop, we'll create poetry, using Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr as sparks of visual inspiration. You will learn the craft of ekphrastic poetry. Taking images from your cell phone or computer, you will look at your social media feed in a whole new way, as a launching pad for your own creative vision.  And at the end of two weeks, you will walk away with a few fantastic ekphrastic poems of your own.

2 Week Online Writing Course

September 10 - 24, 2018

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course writers will be able to:

Draft, revise and edit a skillfully crafted ekphrasis poem

Research using the internet, bookmarks and social media feed by finding sources, posts and photographs that will inspire their work

Engage in drafting, revision and learning how to share and give feedback on their poetry.

Explore new and more challenging strategies on embracing your personally unique social media universe for writing poetry.

Week 1:

The first week we will learn the various types of ekphrastic poems by looking at poetry inspired by famous photographs and paintings. You will discover how posts, photographs and your daily interactions on your social media feed (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest) can inspire your poetry. You will  compose an ekphrastic poem with your classmates as a group writing exercise. By the end of Week 1, you will begin locating photographs and paintings from your social media feed and start crafting drafts of your first individual ekphrastic poems.

Week 2:

You will begin posting photographs and paintings from your unique social media feeds along with the poems you have crafted from those images. Your classmates will respond to each poem by giving positive feedback and you will all assist each other in crafting your own effective ekphrastic poems. 

If you choose to share your work, a collection of student work from this class will be featured on inspiration2publication’s blog at the end of Week Two.  

By the end of this two week class, you will have embraced the creative glory of crafting an ekphrastic poem. Remember that your internet social media universe is unique to you. Use those posts and photographs as inspirations to spark your imagination. Douglas Adams said it best: “Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.”

Your voice will always be inside the picture. Focus on the page and write the verse that reflects the picture of you. 


Adrian Ernesto Cepeda is the author of the forthcoming full-length poetry collection Flashbacks & Verses… Becoming Attractions from Unsolicited Press and the poetry chapbook So Many Flowers, So Little Time from Red Mare Press. His poetry has been featured in The Yellow Chair Review, Frontier Poetry, poeticdiversity, The Wild Word, The Fem, Rigorous, and Lunch Ticket’s Special Issue: Celebrating 20 Years of Antioch University Los Angeles MFA in Creative Writing,

To date, Adrian has over one hundred and twenty five poems published in over a hundred different publications.  One of his poems was named the winner of Subterranean Blue Poetry’s 2016 "The Children of Orpheus" Anthology Contest and two of his poems “Buzz Me” and “Estranged Fruit” were nominated for Best of the Net in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Adrian also had one of his poems “Longing for Our Airport Reconnections” featured in Shinpei Takeda’s Poems of Arrival for the Inscription Installation Exhibit at the New Americans Museum in San Diego, California.

Adrian is an LA Poet and graduate of MFA program at Antioch University in Los Angeles where he lives with his wife and their cat Woody Gold. You can connect with Adrian on his website: