Welcome to Artemis. As editor and founder of Artemis, I began my journey back in 1977, when I was hired to be Director of the Women’s Resource Center in the Roanoke, Virginia. I had a vision of the healing possibilities of art and was assured that I could incorporate my love of art and photography into the program.
This is how it began and so the origin of Artemis is rooted in social activism. By starting as a writing workshops for the Center’s abused women clients, I encouraged women in the group to express themselves through poetry and other art genres as a therapeutic tool. That experience and those writings inspired the creation of Artemis. For the first few years, Artemis showcased the work of women from this group and in 1979 we expanded our scope to include men as well.
Throughout our history, Artemis has presented many cultural events, school mentoring programs,poets reading their work at area universities, such as Hollins University, Roanoke College, and other venues such as the Taubman Museum of Art, Mill Mountain Theatre, and the Blue Ridge Writer’s Conference. Expanding our reach this year, Artemis collaborated with the Light Bringer Project of Los Angeles promoting a feminist Science Fiction Short Story competition, in which we received submissions from all over the world. The winner, Mindy Quigley, a Blacksburg, Virginia writer won for her story, Equality Day which was published in Artemis and read by a professional actress at the Pasadena Litfest.
Artemis has always been a place for many contributors to debut their work. They are published side by side with national and state poet laureates, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, a T.S. Eliot recipient and numerous other notable writers. Along with many distinguished, published contributors we are especially proud of our many guest writers and artists, such as U.S. Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey, acclaimed poet, Nikki Giovanni, Beth Macy, Virginia Poet Laureate, Ron Smith, artists, Bill White, Sam Krisch, Tricia Scott and this year’s guest writer, Sharyn McCrumb, whose books have been named to New York times and Los Angeles Notable Books and her moves recent book, The Unquiet Grave has received rave reviews.
Our theme for this year is “Women hold up half the sky” and we dedicated it to Margory Stoneman Douglas, an early suffragette, journalist, civil rights activist, and passionate environmentalist. Facing these difficult times where school mass shootings continue, there seems to be no hope. The the students of Margory Stoneman Douglas High School are offering us hope through their resilience and political action.
We wish to thank the Roanoke Arts Commission for their continued backing of our vision and the Roanoke Taubman Museum for co-sponsoring our annual launch of Artemis. We are also grateful to Hollins University for archiving all 25 of our published journals in their special collections of their library and the many fine artists and writers who have contributed to Artemis.
The Editors and I look forward to next year’s Artemis 2019, as we gear up towards the celebrating the centennial anniversary passage of the 19th amendment giving women the right to voice in the United States. The amendment was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate in 2019 and then sent to the states for ratification. Needing 2/3 of the states for ratification, the final needed state, Tennessee voted in year 2020 to ratify and the 19th Amendment became the law of the land.
Empowering women while not ignoring men will empower everyone! Now more than ever before, we as women need to continue to hold up half the sky, celebrating our contributions and rekindling the work of all the artists and writers that have helped to showcase the beauty and power of art in Artemis!
The future is female!
Jeri Rogers, Editor and Founder
Maurice Ferguson, Literary Editor
Virginia Lepley, Art Editor
Jonathan Rogers, Treasure and Legal Advisor
Jane Goette, Associate Editor
Matt Dhillon, Poetry & Layout Assistant
Donnie Secreast, Editor’s Assistant
Crystal Founds, Social Media Editor