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 goals of helping our clients.
Many of our women clients were victims of abuse and addressing this problem, I started writing workshops for our clients. With volunteers of professional writers, we 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 Journal.
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. In fact our literary editor, Maurice Ferguson was one of the first men to join our team and still to this day continues as our esteemed editor.
That was our beginning 40 plus years ago with many good memories and 26 Artemis Journals under our belt. Artemis Journal 2019 was launched on June 7, 2019, at the Roanoke Taubman Museum of Art. The highlight the program was a special ballet dance performance, Poetry in Motion, interpreting selected poems from our journal by students from the nonprofit Southwest Virginia Ballet. This was a fundraiser for Artemis, SW Ballet and the Taubman Museum. The new journals were released and sold at the launch.
In the aftermath of the Women’s Marches of 2017, Artemis adopted this ancient proverb for the journal’s theme: “Women Hold Up Half the Sky.” Emblematic of this theme, we featured two women who have held up their part of the sky, Photographer, Sally Mann and Poet, Natasha Trethewey. Our cover image for Artemis 2019 is a stunning photograph from Sally Mann’s recent show, “Sally Mann—A Thousand Crossings,” which opened last year at the National Gallery of Art and has since traveled internationally. Our featured poet is U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, Natasha Trethewey, who opens our journal with her profound poem, “Reach.”
This year’s journal is dedicated to the acclaimed poet, Pulitzer Prize winner, Mary Oliver, who passed away in January. Her deep regard of nature and reverence for all living things have been guideposts for all of us. We have poems by some of Virginia’s finest poets, including Virginia’s Poet Laureate, Ron Smith, acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni, as well as Linda Parsons, Susan Hankla, and Katherine Soniat.
In memoriam of two of our finer poets, Artemis is publishing two poems by poet, Barbara Stout and writer/artist, William Cates, to honor them for their creativity and impact they had in the arts. Other artists published in the journal include Betty Branch, Linda Atkinson, Tricia Scott, Steve Owens, Sue Saandholland and Michele Sons.
For the second year, Artemis has expanded our literary range into science fiction short stories by collaborating with two California based non-profits, The Light Bringer Project & Hollywood National Organization for Women to create a special award, “Women Hold Up Half the Sky,” for a story with a feminist theme. The winning science fiction short story by Jennifer Dselozier, Dirge In D Minor is published in our journal with a $100 award contributed by Hollywood NOW and read by a professional actor at the Litfest awards ceremony in Pasadena, Ca.
Artemis, now 42 years old, celebrates the voices and visions of artists and writers from the Appalachian region of the Blue Ridge Mountains and beyond. Our journal began in 1977 as a result of the writings by abused women in writer’s workshops conducted in southwest Virginia. Like its namesake, Artemis had the divine duty of illuminating the darkness and was the goddess of the hunt and protector of the natural world. Often she is depicted carrying a candle or torch, lighting the way for others and leading them through territories yet uncharted.
Artemis Journal provides an honored space for artists and writers to publish their contributions for cultural enrichment. This year’s journal will be our 26th published journal to date.
Artemis is a charitable non-profit organization made possible by a dedicated, all-volunteer team and by generous contributions from our supporters, the Roanoke Arts Commission and The Taubman Museum of Art.
10% of our profits are donated to the Women’s Resource Center in Radford, Virginia, a shelter for abused women.
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, Associate Poetry & Layout Editor
Donnie Secreast, Editor’s Assistant
Crystal Founds, Social Media Editor
Warren Lapine, Publishing Advisor
Jennifer Schwartz, Intern