Professor of the Arts, Director of the Creative Writing Program
Department of English, Bryn Mawr College
“Rome as Palimpsest: Image and Poem in the Eternal City”
In one of his sonnets in “Les Antiquitez de Rome” (1558), Joachim Du Bellay describes Rome as a ruined city, corpse-like but galvanically brought back to life as each generation incorporates fragments into its own constructions. The landscape, architecture and art of Rome have been built up, destroyed and rebuilt for some three thousand years, providing a fertile source of inspiration to poets, who not only write the city’s art (in part by means of ekphrasis) but also over-write it, responding to the rich tradition of art that precedes them. This colloquium will present images and work from a new book entitled “Stumbling Blocks: Roman Poems” by Creative Writing Program Director and Professor of the Arts Karl Kirchwey.