The Disquieting Muses: An Evening of Poetry Inspired by de Chirico


April 10, 2017

In celebration of National Poetry Month, join us Monday April 10 for a special evening of ekphrastic poetry* inspired by Giorgio de Chirico, subject of the current exhibition at the Center for Italian Modern Art. De Chirico’s painting Le Muse Inquietanti (The Disquieting Muses) of 1918, in particular — now on view at CIMA — inspired works by both Sylvia Plath and Mark Strand.

Poet Mark Wunderlich will read Sylvia Plath’s poems inspired by de Chirico’s paintings as well as a new work composed for the occasion. Jessica Strand will read Mark Strand’s poems inspired by de Chirico and speak of the role of art in her late father’s work. And poets Michael Dumanis and Mary Jo Bang will also read work inspired by de Chirico’s paintings.

*ekphrastic poetry is writing created in response to works of art.

Presented in collaboration with the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and with the generous support of the Maurice English Poetry Award.

Mary Jo Bang is the author of seven collections of poems, including Elegy, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her translation of Dante’s Inferno, illustrated by Henrik Drescher, was published in 2012. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

Michael Dumanis is the author of the poetry collection My Soviet Union (University of Massachusetts Press), winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry; and coeditor of the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande). His writing has appeared in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day Project, The Believer, Boston Review, LitHub, New England Review, Ploughshares, and numerous other print and online journals, and has been recognized with fellowships and residencies by the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Yaddo, the Ohio Arts Council, and others. He teaches literature and creative writing at Bennington College, and serves as Editor of the print literary journal Bennington Review.

Jessica Strand is a writer and cultural programmer/producer. At The New York Public Library, she produced extensive programming involving the libraries collections, outside partnerships, and created a marquee show Books at Noon, where she interviewed authors about their most current work.  Previously she reinvented the Strand Bookstore event series, producing dialogues between writers, artists, cartoonists, musicians, and cultural figures.  A collection of these conversations has been published in an anthology, Upstairs at the Strand (Norton, 2016). Since the election, she has created Dear America…, an organization that through programming brings artists, writers, and advocates for social justice together to express our diversity and encourage a dialogue that unites us as a country. She recently curated an anthology of poems called Love Found, which will be published by Chronicle Books in February 2018.

Mark Wunderlich is the author of three volumes of poetry, the most recent of which is The Earth Avails, published by Graywolf Press in 2014 and which received the Rilke Prize.  He teaches writing and literature at Bennington College and lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.