Poems by Terri Witek
A year ago, only a handful of people used the word, but now it seems that “ekphrasis” is popping up everywhere… Terri Witek’s poems [are] smart, funny, feeling, and, above all, keenly observant. Ekphrasis—from now on out, why don’t we just say, “You know, what Terri Witek does?”
Terri Witek’s sensual, intelligent poems have the color intensity and the rich feel of the finest cloth. As in her previous work, these poems often address surfaces—in painting and in fashion—and remind us, as Oscar Wilde wrote, that it is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. A long sequence about the Sitwells, who sat well or badly for their portraits by John Singer Sargent, is a particular delight here. So are the individual lyrics (such as “Why Your Parents Move to Florida”), which are wry, wise, and sad—and make the reader happy, too, in their technical perfection.
—Mary Jo Salter