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For this week’s Poetics, I’m highlighting my favorite fine art portrait photographer, Phyllis Galembo.

Galembo has been inspired by the idea of ritual and costume for more than twenty-five years.
Her photography documents mythic figures of the spirit world within the culture
of masquerade in Africa.

I’ve selected twelve amazing portraits from her most recent publication, ‘MASKE,’ for today’s prompt.

Please only use the ones below to post with your poem as I’ve attached a copyright to each photo as per her request.

Let’s have fun…and dig deep: you don’t have to write solely about what’s in the portrait.
You might only get inspiration from one or two elements in a costume,
or maybe even just background/scenery of the photo that takes your piece in another direction – go there if you wish; be abstract.

I’m excited to see what bold works everyone will produce from Galembo’s photography.


Affanwan Masquerade Agbado Bwa Plank Masks Ekpokang Masquerade Jacmel Kanaval - Preachers Man With Chain, Jacmel Mango Leaves Maroon Mask Ogborone Panther, Dodo Surprise Box Water Buffalo Devil

Here’s how we get down AKA the rules:

  • Choose a photo (or however many you want) and write a poem that fits the prompt on your blog/webpage
  • Click the Mr. Linky button below and enter your name & direct url to your poem
  • There you will find other poets’ work for today’s prompt – engage with one another and have a good time learning from each other
  • Feel free to share using the social media of your choice