The Poetry Society – Art Russe Commission

I spent some time this Autumn/Winter completing a commission for The Poetry Society (England), an ekphrastic poem inspired by a painting from the Art Russe collection. My piece speaks to Viktor Vasnetsov’s ‘Flying Carpet’ (1880).


My fellow poets on this commission include Tara Bergin, Sujata Bhatt, AB JacksonPascale PetitRuby Robinson, and Matthew Sweeney. I’ve had a sneak preview of the pamphlet that will accompany the exhibition, and I was very impressed – these poems are a wonderfully strange, eclectic bunch. The Poetry Society describes the project as follows –

In a cultural partnership with Art Russe, The Poetry Society has commissioned seven poets to create new works, inspired by seven paintings from one of the world’s leading collections of Soviet and Russian art. The newly commissioned poems are displayed in the exhibition ‘Art Russe: The Art of Storytelling’ which explores themes of storytelling and folk tales in Russian art from the late 19th and early 20th century.

This innovative project draws together The Poetry Society and The Mall Galleries (Federation of British Artists) along with children’s charities Children & The Arts and The Naked Heart Foundation to –

use visual storytelling to engage and support children from hard to reach areas here in the UK and in Russia.

In addition to opening the artworks and the commissioned poems to the public, 300 children will be welcomed to the exhibition, and will engage with the work through an educational project designed by Art Russe and The Poetry Society.  More on this project at The Poetry Society website, here.

My poem ‘To Meet a Firebird’s Eye’ and its sister painting Viktor Vasnetsov’s ‘Flying Carpet’ are currently on display at the Art Russe exhibition, which opens today (December 14th) and runs until January 6th at The Mall Galleries, London. More information here.

My poem was subsequently chosen as The Poetry Society’s Poem of the Month. 

Buíochas ó chroí le/Heartfelt thanks to Judith Palmer, director of The Poetry Society, to The Mall Galleriesto Children & The Arts and The Naked Heart Foundation.