Former poet laureate to speak April 13 at library/LCVA event

Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda

Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda

Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, a former poet laureate of Virginia who also is an artist and lifelong educator, will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts.

A joint event sponsored by the Friends of the Greenwood Library and LCVA, Kreiter-Foronda will speak on “Poetry Inspired by the Artwork of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.” Her presentation will “explore the larger realm of ekphrastic, or art-inspired, poetry by examining how dramatic monologues and dual-voice poems can broaden and enrich the interpretation of an artwork.”

“In its purest form, an ekphrastic poem relies on visual imagery to vividly depict a work of art,” said Kreiter-Foronda, who was poet laureate from 2006-08. “But what occurs when the poet enters the mind of an artist or an engaging figure in a painting and speaks in his or her voice? After extensive research, I strive to create monologues that offer insight into an artist’s intent.”

She will read poems written in the voices of renowned Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo that are featured in her collection The Embrace: Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, winner of the 2014 Mary Lynn Kotz Award from the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Other poems in the collection are spoken by an array of memorable characters, ranging from a miner’s son to Rivera’s mistresses. For poems in two voices, she will ask audience members to read.

Kreiter-Foronda is the author of seven poetry books and co-editor of three anthologies. Her poems have been nominated for six Pushcart Prizes and have appeared in numerous magazines.

The evening, which commemorates National Poetry Month, will kick off with a Friends of the Greenwood Library reception at 6 p.m. Both the reception and the presentation are free and open to the public.