“Questioning Plates” [poem and writing prompt]

Photo credit: Het Nieuwe Instituut - Architecture Collection on VisualHunt.com (not the actual plates referenced in the poem)

What is the role of art in navigating national, ancestral, and personal reconciliation? How do we know when we are ready for reconciliation? What do beauty and pain have to do with it all?

I’m thrilled to announce that Clerestory Magazine has just published my poem “Questioning Plates.” Please click here for the link to “Kintsugi Pieces in Harmony” Youtube video from the epigraph below.

“Questioning Plates” explores these questions, and more, via the Japanese art form of kintsugi. “Questioning Plates” is an ekphrastic poem, which is poetry that responds to a piece of visual art. The practice of ekphrastic poetry can lead the poet, and reader, to surprising self-reflection. Check out some previous thoughts I’ve offered on ekphrastic poetry here.

“Questioning Plates” is an ekphrastic poem that specifically responds to a piece of kintsugi art. I wrote about kintsugi in a book review for Art + Faith by Makoto Fujimura last year. Clerestory Magazine also has several other excellent pieces in this issue exploring theology and history, which are also worth a read.

And here’s a writing prompt for you, based on the topics above: what piece of art speaks to your own ancestries? How would you describe that piece of art? What questions would you like to ask that particular artwork?

I’d love to hear what you think!

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