Presentation: “The Body as Canvas and Page”

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“The Body as Canvas and Page: The Use of Visual Literacy and Literary Imagery in the Anatomy of Poetry"

Thursday, Oct. 9 8:00 p.m. Design on Main Gallery, 203 Main St., Ames

Dr. Gabriella Miotto, MD, MPH, will lead the presentation, field questions and answers, and – if time allows and audience members are interested – conduct a mini workshop on "The Use of Visual Literacy and Literary Imagery in the Anatomy of Poetry."

About the event: The body, in health or in illness, has a literacy of its own, an alphabet of sensations, emotions or symptoms. At times, it may seem like our body is using a system of hieroglyphics, and challenging us to an effective interpretation. The way it speaks its own language calls for an ongoing translation, a conversation between the visual literacy of imagery and the literary imagery of poetry.

Dr. Miotto writes: "As a family physician and poet, I have long been intrigued by the imagery that emerges from the way we perceive bodily symptoms and dreams. I have found that poetry has a certain power to act as a scaffolding/link between the environments of body/matter and emotions/intellect in a manner that can improve well-being and allow us to understand ourselves more deeply, and to assist in the ways we communicate our thoughts and very selves."

IF there’s interest and time, the mini-workshop will follow the presentation: "Participants will have the opportunity to explore 2-3 personal dream images or physically-represented symptoms, construct visuals of a photographic collage that “speak” in their own right of these images and then work with words that “distill” those images and echo them into poetry in an ekphrastic exercise of blending visuals with their literary counterparts."

The English Department, MFA program in CWE and Women’s and Gender Studies program and students are sponsoring Dr. Miotto’s visit.