Poets and artists combine for new Taranaki contest

Some of Taranaki’s top creative talents are joining forces for a new community competition.

Fantastic Ekphrastic launched this week and it invites people to pen a poem in response to a piece of Taranaki artwork.

An ekphrastic poem is writing inspired by an artwork, and 12 Taranaki artists have put their creations forward in the hope they will be the catalyst for lyrical creativity.

Included in the line-up of artistic inspiration is work from Dale Copeland, Tony Carter, Deborah French, Phil Jones, Brenda Cash, Andrew Doehring, Stu Tullett, Lois Parkes, Barbara Clegg, Paul Hutchinson, Mark Bellringer and Wayne Morris.

The competition helps to celebrate National Poetry Day and it’s being spear-headed by two talented Taranaki poets – Helen Griffiths and Virginia Winder.

Helen says she came up with the idea for Fantastic Ekphrastic as a way of encouraging collaboration between artists.

“It’s hard not to be inspired by the immense pool of creative talent found right here in Taranaki,” she says.

Virginia, an award-winning poet and journalist, says the aim of Fantastic Ekphrastic is to help people unleash their inner poet.

“We want to encourage people to look at the world differently through all types of creative works,” she says.

The competition is free to enter and has four categories: primary school, intermediate school, and high school students, as well as an open category.

The winners of Fantastic Ekphrastic will see their poems gracing Phantom Billsticker frames around New Plymouth after National Poetry Day on August 23.