In recent years, there has been an upsurge of interest in ekphrastic poetry, which (according to the Poetry Foundation) is a “vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art.” Read more about ekphrasis at Aficionados of this form may wish to check out a recent Silver Birch Press publication — Dual Impressions by John Brantingham and Jeffrey Graessley.

All this is a buildup to our latest call for submissions: THAT LOOKS LIKE ME EKPHRASTIC POETRY SERIES. Find a portrait that looks like you (at any age) by a well-known artist and write a poem about the painting — put yourself into the story. Basically, the poem should be about the work of art and about you. (As regular followers of our series know, all our calls for submissions focus on personal narratives.)

PROMPT: Find a painting that looks like you — reality or wishful thinking, or a combination — by a well-known artist. Write an ekphrastic poem based on the painting — put yourself into the picture in some way. Find a painting by searching google images for “famous painting man” or “famous painting woman.” You may also wish to visit and browse through this visual art encyclopedia.

WHAT: Submissions can be original or previously published poems. You retain all rights to your work and give Silver Birch Press permission to publish on social media and in a potential print edition.

WHEN: We’ll feature the poems during the Silver Birch Press THAT LOOKS LIKE ME EKPHRASTIC POETRY Series starting in November or December (actual date to be determined, based on number of submissions).

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email one poem To as an MSWord attachment — and in the same file include your name, contact info (including email address), one-paragraph author’s bio (written in third person), and any notes about your creative process or thoughts about your piece. Please put all this information in one MSWord document and title the file with your last name (and only your last name). Write”LOOKS LIKE ME” in subject line of email. Please send a photo of yourself — at any age — in a separate jpg file to accompany the poem, and provide a caption for the photo (when, where). Send a jpg of the painting or a link to it. Please cite your source (title of painting, artist, year created). It would be ideal if you could find a photo of yourself that resembles the painting you choose — but this is not a requirement, as it may be difficult to match up the images in this way. Our intention is less literal and more impressionistic…


To help everyone understand our submission requirements, we’ve prepared the following checklist.

1. Send ONE MS Word document TITLED WITH YOUR LAST NAME (e.g. Smith.doc or Jones.docx).

2. In the same MS Word document, include your contact information (name, mailing address, email address).

3. In the same MS Word document, include an author’s bio, written in the third person (e.g., Erin O’Brien has been writing since age ten…”).

4. In the same MS Word document, include a note about your poem or creative process (this is optional).

5. In the same MS Word document, include a caption for your photo (including where, when and/or date taken).

6. Send a photo of yourself at any age as a SEPARATE jpg attachment (not in the MS Word document). Title the photo with your last name (e.g., Jones.jpg).

7. Send a jpg of or link to the painting that inspired your poem — along with citation (title of painting, artist, and year created). You can include the link and citation in the MSWord under your poem.

8. Email to — and put LOOKS LIKE ME in the subject line.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Sunday, November 15, 2015

IMAGES: “Self-Portrait” by Vincent van Gogh (1889); photo of Irish actor Michael Fassbender.