Poems in Conversation and a Conversation

Elizabeth Alexander
Slapering Hol Press
June 2008

Poetry. “When Alexander and Stefanon scrutinize the variegated surfaces of Romare Bearden’s art, the intensity of their gazes gives way to speech. In the blues of ‘Reclining Nude,’ Stefanon’s speaker discovers ‘I could hear / her holding / her breath.’ Alexander finds images that transmute into sounds: ‘Flowered dresses. / A woman’s holler. River or guitar.’ In the hands of these poets, ekphrasis is an act of inquiry, a mode of poetic transformation as well as cultural analysis.