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Physician and poet Gabriella Miotto to speak about visual literacy and literary imagery Oct. 9 at ISU Design on Main Gallery

October 02, 2014



AMES, Iowa — Gabriella Miotto, a family physician, activist and poet, will share her work in a special presentation during this month's Emerging Writers Series at the Iowa State University Design on Main Gallery, 203 Main St. in downtown Ames.

Offered the second Thursday of every month this fall semester, each emerging writers session features up to three fiction, nonfiction or poetry readings by graduate students in the ISU Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing and Environment. Remaining events will begin at 7 p.m. Oct. 9, Nov. 13 and Dec. 13.

Readers for the Oct. 9 session include Erin Schmiel (fiction) and Taylor Brorby (nonfiction). The emcee will be Adam Wright.

The readings will be followed by Miotto's presentation on "The Body as Canvas and Page: The Use of Visual Literacy and Literary Imagery in the Anatomy of Poetry" at 8 p.m. After her presentation, Miotto will answer questions and offer a mini-workshop on the same topic for those who wish to participate.

"The body, in health or illness, has a literacy of its own, an alphabet of sensations, emotions or symptoms," Miotto said. "At times, it may seem like our body is using a system of hieroglyphics, and challenging us to an effective interpretation. The way it speaks its own language calls for an ongoing translation, a conversation between the visual literacy of imagery and the literary imagery of poetry."

Miotto focuses on community and integrative medicine and uses poetry, art and dance therapies with her patients and trauma victims. She has worked with refugees in both Kosovo and Guatemala and is now on the staff at the Children’s Clinic in Long Beach, Calif. Her work appears in "Pop Art: An Anthology of Southern California Poetry" (Moon Tide Press, 2010). She was named Moon Tide Press' May 2013 Poet of the Month.

"I have long been intrigued by the imagery that emerges from the way we perceive bodily symptoms and dreams," Miotto said. "I have found that poetry has a certain power to act as a scaffolding or link between the environments of body/matter and emotions/intellect in a manner that can improve well-being and allow us to understand ourselves more deeply, and to assist in the ways we communicate our thoughts and our very selves."

All Emerging Writers Series events are free and open to the public. Participants are invited to stay and socialize at the end of each program. Miotto's visit is cosponsored by the ISU Department of English, MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment and Women's and Gender Studies Program.

An extension of the ISU College of Design, Design on Main seeks to strengthen creative connections between the university and the community through arts education, artist-led projects and interactive events. The gallery's programming schedule includes exhibitions, workshops, forums, and musical and literary showcases.

Regular gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays, with extended hours for some activities. For updated information on events and hours, visit

Audrey McCombs, Creative Writing and Environment, (515) 294-2180,
Christiana Langenberg, English, (515) 294-1655,
Jennifer Drinkwater, Design on Main, (515) 708-2825,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,