The Artemis mission has not changed from its conception. Forty-two years ago, in the basement of the Roanoke, Virginia YWCA, a writing workshop was offered for the enlightenment of abused women. That experience and those writings inspired the creation of this journal, by providing a platform where women could publish their own opinions about their contemporary lives.
Our yearly journal highlights voices of artists and writers who uphold the values of the the Greek lunar goddess for which the journal was named–Artemis. As the archetype of the mother goddess, Artemis was protector of wild animals, the wilderness, young women, childbirth, and known as a carrier of light.
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. Our literary editor, Maurice Ferguson was one of the first men to join our team and to this day continues as our esteemed editor.
That was our beginning 42 plus years ago with many good memories and 26 Artemis Journals under our belt. Last year’s journal, Artemis 2019 was launched a fundraiser 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.
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.”
Artemis 2019 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 also 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 published 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.
Artemis 2019 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 43 years old, celebrates the voices and visions of artists and writers from the Appalachian region of the Blue Ridge Mountains and beyond. Like its namesake, the Greek lunar goddess, 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. Besides encouraging young artists and writers, Artemis has published many notable artists and writers, including Virginia Poet Laureates, Carlton Drewry, George Garrett, Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda and Ron Smith and a United States Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey.
This year’s journal, Artemis Journal 2020 will be our 28th published journal to date and will include poetry from two Virginia Poet Laureates, Ron Smith and Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda and a U.S. Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey.
The theme for this year’s journal will be “Season of Women” and will be a centennial celebration of the 19th amendment to the US Constitution giving women the right to vote passed one hundred years ago. As we celebrate this momentous event, we are honoring an artist who was also born 100 years ago and made an impact on the art scene here in our hometown, nationally and internally. Dorothy Gillespie, 1920-2012, supported our fledgling idea of starting a feminist literary and art journal by donating a beautiful pastel for our very first cover. The energy she brought to our journal and our hometown was contagious and along with the journal, the idea was born to create the very first mural in our downtown.
This year’s launch of 2020 Artemis Journal will honor Dorothy with one of her images for our cover, in collaboration with the Roanoke Taubman Museum of Art’s retrospective of Ms. Gillespie’s work, “Celestial Centennial: The Art and Legacy of Dorothy Gillespie,” opening April 4- July 26, 2020.
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 Southwest Virginia, a shelter for abused women.
Jeri Rogers, Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Maurice Ferguson, Literary Editor
Page Turner, Art Director
Zephren Turner, Layout Editor
Jonathan Rogers, Treasure, and Legal Advisor
Donnie Secreast, Associate Editor
Crystal Founds, Social Media Editor
Warren Lapine, Publishing Advisor