The Maier Museum of Art
at Randolph College

The Maier Museum of Art Journal of Ekphrastic Poetry

The creation of original poetry and prose in response to works of visual art, known as Ekphrastic writing, is a writing exercise originating in ancient Greece. Schoolboys were assigned composition exercises in which they were challenged to describe painting and architecture in vivid detail. Familiar examples are poems such as John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” (1819) or W. H. Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” (1938). Ekphrastic writing has enjoyed a revival among contemporary authors in recent decades.

The Maier Museum of Art’s first Ekphrastic poetry publication came in 2005 with Image/Word: A Book of Poems. This compilation of verse was written by community members of all ages in response to artworks in the collection. In 2009, Image/Word was followed by Water Lines, a book of original poems inspired by the 2008 exhibition Water Marks: Selections from the Permanent Collection. Water Lines includes poems from area elementary, middle, and high school students; Randolph College students; and adult writers active in Central Virginia. In 2010, poet Keith Ratzlaff taught a class on Ekphrastic poetry as guest instructor for Randolph College’s Visiting Writers Program. At that point, the Maier established an Ekphrastic poetry webpage, now the Maier Museum of Art Journal of Ekphrastic Poetry.

Submissions are accepted year-round. Please submit your poetry by the end of day on May 31, 2024, to be read with the most recent group of submissions.

Submit Your Poetry >>

Published Poems

2010 – Present


Parlous Waters

by R. A. Allen


Seventh Sister

by R. A. Allen


At the café

by Jennifer Hernandez


darkness doesn’t win

by Gwynneth Green

Much Morning

by Rikki Santer

Winslow Homer’s Paris Courtyard

by Joseph Stanton

John Frederick Kensett’s On the Connecticut Shore

by Joseph Stanton

Lady with a Dog

by Akshaya Pawaskar

Untitled (after Mrs. Scott’s House)

by Martin Willitts, Jr.


In My Dreams I Am Whole

by Steve Wilson

The Gift

by Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad

Book Auction by Mabel Dwight

To Understand

by Luigi Coppola

Old Woman by Michael Lenson

New Winters

by Luigi Coppola

Untitled (Bar Scene)


by Luigi Coppola

Arthur Dove, Cow #1, 1935, tempera on canvas. Purchase made possible by the Fine Arts Fund, 1957. Collection of the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College, founded as Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.

The Eyes of Cows

by Luigi Coppola


by Luigi Coppola


by Tyler Thier



by Steve Wilson

Murray, Elizabeth, Heart with Bricks

After the Demise of the Swine’s Sister

by Mary Ellen Talley


On the Brink

by Dianne Borsenik

3 AM Meditation

by Steve Wilson

Lake Scene With Figures

by Lee Evans


The Beauty of the Village

by Steve Wilson

Of April

by Steve Wilson


Prudence Pauses

by Warren Meredith Harris

Dying Words

by Kevin C Chadwick

Breaking Up of the Duncan

by Kevin C Chadwick


by Kevin C Chadwick


A Poem for Irving Amen’s ‘Girl with Flowers’

by Terry Bodine

Considering Rest

by Terry Bodine


by Andrew L. Smiley


The vibrancy of red

by Lisa Alexander Baron

How To Forget The Horizon At Sea Is Even There

by Jessica M. Brophy

Haunted House

by featured poet Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda

The Deserted Beach

by Guy Terrell

Cape Cod

by Kristine Ong Muslim

Mary Scott Swann, 1816

by Joan Mazza

One of Twenty-Eight Views of the Moon

by Vivian Teter

Yoshitoshi  |  Yoshiiku  |  Mishima Asagiri  |  Kunisada  |  Soshu Tonegawa

by Chris Doss

Missing My Mother

by LuAnn Keener-Mikenas



by dl mattila

third grade, 1957

by Sara Taylor ’12


Landscape with Girl and Flowers

by featured poet Keith Ratzlaff


by Marnie Crowell ’60


by Marnie Crowell ’60

Cow #1

by Karl Speer ’12