Marilyn Chandler McEntyre: art as poetic inspiration

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Celebrated author, poet and professor Dr. Marilyn Chandler McEntyre will speak on campus three times in November.

In literary circles McEntyre is well-known for three books that invite readers to reflect on art through the lens of poetry. They are In Quiet Light: Poems on Vermeer's Women, Drawn to the Light: Poems on Rembrandt's Religious Paintings, and Light Songs: Poems on Van Gogh's Paintings.

Each of these books features reproductions of famous paintings accompanied by McEntyre’s poetry. In each poem, she uses vivid language and unforgettable insight as she reflects on the artist’s gift and turns it into yet another gift for readers.

When reviewing Quiet Light, Bethany College professor Daniel Taylor wrote, “McEntyre says that Vermeer's paintings create ‘an environment rich with unspoken feeling.’ She gives words to those feelings, and the words are deft, compassionate, and full of insight.”

McEntyre earned her doctorate from Princeton University and now teaches writing and literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif. She’s had eight books published and most recently completed a draft on the stewardship of language titled Care of the Word. Her primary area of research is in the fields of medical humanities and environmental studies.

Corban’s Richard L. Caulkins Lectureship, which brings scholars to campus at least twice a year, is organizing and funding McEntyre’s visit. Her poetry readings and lectures will be accompanied by full-screen viewings of the artwork about which she’s written.

At chapel at 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 6, her topic is Vermeer’s Compassionate Gaze. Her lecture at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7 is How Rembrandt Reads. Her last lecture, titled Van Gogh: Where Love Alights, is at chapel at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8. All three lectures are free and open to the public. The daytime lectures will be held in the Psalm Performing Arts Center, and the evening lecture will be in the Emitte Center.

For more information about Dr. Marilyn Chandler McEntyre’s visit to Corban or the R.L. Caulkins Lectureship, call Assistant Professor of history John Scott at 503-589-8170 or email For driving directions or general information, or call 503-375-7005.

  • Dr. Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

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