Writers & Artists

Jeri Rogers has worked as a model, a James Madison junior high social studies teacher, a daytime TV host and a researcher with the Committee of Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill.  Rogers – a Texas native who lived in New York City and on Bent Mountain briefly in her ‘20s— is a professional photographer and the editor/founder of Artemis Journal, a Floyd-based art and literary journal that recently published its 27th issue.

In the mid ‘70s, Rogers was hired as director of The Women’s Resource Center at the Roanoke YWCA through a grant awarded to TAP, Total Action Against Poverty, currently called Total Action for Progress. During her two-year tenure as director, she started a writers’ workshop for abused women, hiring local volunteer writers to lead the classes. “We saw some amazing results with women coming out of their shells and writing,” Rogers said.

Plugging into the Roanoke artist and writer community, and being an artist herself with a dark room photography studio in the city, Rogers soon had an inspired idea to start a literary/art journal that would provide a platform for the women she was working with. The name “Artemis,” a Greek lunar goddess archetype, came to her during meditation.

Following the publication of a 1977 first issue, Artemis took off with a life of its own, sometimes under the direction of different hands, as Rogers and her husband, Jonathan Rogers, raised their three children and lived on St. Croix island for a couple of years. Initially, the journal featured women’s writing but opened up to submissions from men after two years. The project led to poetry readings and art shows, one that featured Rogers photographic study of mountain women.

After 23 active years of publication (from 1977 to 2000), the journal was dormant for 13 years, until Rogers reunited with past poetry contributor Maurice Ferguson (the journal’s current literary editor) and enlisted the design skills of Virginia Lepley. “We really missed it,” Rogers said about Artemis. “In 2013, I said, ‘let’s do it for one year. Let’s just see what happens.”’

“It took off!” The size of the journal, the contributors and, eventually, the volunteer staff grew. Early issues were published with limited financial resources and Rogers, who has lived in Floyd County for 20 years now, noticed the journals weren’t holding up very well.  The new Artemis incarnation was upgraded to a beautifully printed, perfect-bound book of high quality, acid-free paper to highlight the vibrant colored artwork. Rogers said that she and Lepley knew the kind of top-notch product they wanted to create and would figure out how to pay for it later.

Today, Artemis is a non-profit organization that is supported by donations, book sales and a yearly grant from The Roanoke Arts Commission. The Taubman Museum of Art is another supportive partner, hosting the yearly book launches that have evolved into well-attended celebrated events featuring notable speakers, such as poet laureates, famed poet Niki Giovanni and Appalachian Mountain authors Sharyn McCrum and Beth Macy.

In 2019 Rogers had the idea to combine that year’s book launch with a fundraiser. The program’s highlight was a ballet titled “Poetry in Motion,” which was performed by students of the Southwest Virginia Ballet who interpreted selected poems from the 2019 journal.

Big plans were underway for the 2020 issue launch, when the June event was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. With a “Season of Women” theme, the launch was set to honor the 100-year anniversary of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote.

The celebration of the suffragettes’ accomplishments was to be combined with one for nationally and internally acclaimed artist and Roanoke native, Dorothy Gillespie. Gillespie, who passed away in 2012, would have been 100 years old in 2020. Rogers recalled that Gillespie, who was known for her large and colorful abstract metal sculptures, donated a pastel for the 1977 inaugural cover of Artemis, which was also later featured as a downtown Roanoke mural. Gillespie’s art aptly graces the cover of the 2020 Artemis issue, and the 2020 issue launch was planned to coincide with the Taubman exhibition’s “Celestial Centennial: The Art and Legacy of Dorothy Gillespie.

Following the cancellation of the planned launch, a virtual video launch was suggested and presented at the museum. Keynote speaker Jeanne Larsen read from past journals amid the art exhibit of Dorothy Gillespie’s works. Larsen, a poet, author and past English professor at Hollins University, also participated in a conversation with Rogers and Museum of Art’s Education Manager Stephanie Fallon.

From there, the online Artemis outreach gained momentum and a bi-monthly Podcast “Artemis Speaks” was born (buzzsprout.com/1262438).  In collaboration with co-producer Skip Brown at Roanoke’s Final Track Studio, Rogers kicked off her first podcast with guest Nikki Giovanni, recently named Artemis’s Poet Emeritus. So far, Rogers has done 9 podcasts, one of which was an interview with Dorothy Gillespie’s son, Gary Israel, who heads up Gillespie’s foundation.

“We have a community of Artemis artists and writers who are home alone trying to navigate these times,” Rogers noted. “The podcast keeps us connected and spreads the mission of what Artemis does, which is to encourage the arts in the mountains.”

The journal encourages young artists and writers and new voices to submit, while also publishing the works of established and celebrated writers and artists. Maurice Ferguson, the journal’s literary editor, was reported to have received over 400 submissions for the 2020 issue, which came from across the United States, as well as from foreign countries. One-hundred and seventy of those submissions appeared in the issue.

Artemis 2021 is in the works (the submission date has passed). The 2020 issue and previous issues can be viewed and purchased in Floyd at Troika Gallery and The Floyd Center for the Arts, or via the Artemis website, artemisjournal.org. Ten percent of journal profits are donated to the Turning Point, a shelter for abused women and their children in Southwest Virginia.

“In order to survive, you have to adapt,” Rogers said about the changing times and her new role as a podcast host.  “We need art.  Art is healing. More than ever, we need it as we’re healing now,” she said. ________Colleen Redman

Note: Read about the 2016 Artemis launch that featured Virginia Poet Laureate Ron Smith and honored Roanoke artist Betty Branch, whose pink marble sculpture, The Dancer.

Colleen Redman, Looseleaf Notes

Book City

Artemis Journal is creating podcasts, Artemis Speaks, of writers and artists they publish. Go to our podcast on the Artemis journal website.

http://BOOK CITY ★ Roanoke archive

Artemis Journal 2022

Featured Artists and Writers

Betty Branch, artist, maintains a studio and gallery in Roanoke, VA. For the first thirty years of her career, Branch focused on the female form and defined female rites of passage in both traditional and unorthodox media. In recent decades she has produced numerous public monuments and commissioned sculptures of varying subjects. She spent a portion of many years working at Nicoli Studios in Carrara, Italy, and notably, she was the only American exhibitor invited to the first Salon International de la Sculpture Contemporaine in Paris, in 1990. Branch’s award-winning art has been widely exhibited in the US and abroad, with works from small to monumental in private, corporate, university, and museum collections. https://www.bettybranch.com

Steven Kenny, artist was born in Peekskill, New York in 1962 and now resides in Check, VA. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design, receiving a BFA in 1984. After studying independently in Rome he gained notoriety as a freelance commercial illustrator. Clients included Sony Music, Time Magazine, AT&T, United Airlines, Celestial Seasonings, Microsoft, and many others. His illustrations repeatedly received awards from the Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts Magazine, and the Art Directors’ Club of New York. In 1997 Steven turned away from illustration in order to devote his full attention to the fine arts. His award-winning paintings are exhibited in galleries across the United States and Europe. Honors include grants from the Virginia and Franz Bader Fund, the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation, fellowships from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Creative Pinellas. His paintings can be found in the permanent collections of the Polk Museum of Art, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Museo Arte Contemporanea Sicilia, State College of Florida, and many private collections around the world. http://www.stevenkenny.com/

Nikki Giovanni, poet, is one of America’s foremost poets. Over the course of a long career, Giovanni has published numerous collections of poetry—from her first self-published volume Black Feeling Black Talk (1968) to New York Times best-seller Bicycles: Love Poems (2009)—several works of nonfiction and children’s literature, and multiple recordings, including the Emmy-award nominated The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection (2004). Her most recent publications include Make Me Rain: Poems and Prose (2020), Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid (2013) and, as editor, The 100 Best African American Poems (2010). A frequent lecturer and reader, Giovanni has taught at Rutgers University, Ohio State University, and Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor. https://nikki-giovanni.com/

Jane Smith, writer, lives in Cheshire, England with her family of humans and dogs. She writes both fiction and non-fiction and campaigns on wildlife and environmental issues. She is a contributor to the journal Dark Mountain and in 2021 her essay ‘Crossings’ was short-listed for the inaugural Future Places Prize for Environmental Literature (UK). She is mainly interested in inter-species understanding and in human responses to climate emergencies. www.janecsmith.com

Natasha Trethewey, poet served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014). She is the author of five collections of poetry, including Native Guard (2006)—for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize—and, most recently, Monument: Poems New and Selected (2018); a book of non-fiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2010); and a memoir, Memorial Drive (2020) an instant New York Times Bestseller. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. She is a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2017 she received the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets since 2019, Trethewey was awarded the 2020 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt Prize in Poetry for Lifetime Achievement from the Library of Congress. Currently, she is a Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University. https://natashatrethewey.com

Donnie Secreast, Literary Editor, Nikki Giovanni, Poet, Adam Literary Editor


Artemis Journal 2021

Featured Artist and Writers

Donna Polseno, Artemis cover artist, Voltarsi Verso L’Alto, is a sculptor and potter. She has lived in the mountains of southwest Virginia since graduating from Rhode Island School of Design. She has been honored with 2 NEA Artist Fellowships and a Virginia Museum Artists Grant. Donna has shown her work in major exhibitions in museums and galleries, nationally and internationally. Her work has been published in many books and magazines. She has taught seminars at many schools including  Penland School, Haystack Mountain School, Anderson Ranch, Jingdezhen University in China, La Meridiana School of Ceramics in Italy. She lives and works part-time in a small village in Italy. She was a ceramics instructor at Hollins University for 15 years, where she created and still directs the “Women Working With Clay” Symposium.  

Nikki Giovanni, poem 3-1593 400 Mulvaney Street, has been awarded an unprecedented 7 NAACP Image Awards which makes me very very proud. She was nominated for a Grammy; has been a finalist for the  National Book Award and has authored 3 New York Times and Los Angeles Times Best Sellers, highly unusual for a poet. Her most recent publications include Make Me Rain: Poems and Prose (2020), Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid (2013), and, as editor, The 100 Best African American Poems (2010). In Make Me Rain, she celebrates her loved ones and unapologetically declares her pride in her black heritage, while exploring the enduring impact of the twin sins of racism and white nationalism. A frequent lecturer and reader, Giovanni has taught at Rutgers University, Ohio State University, and Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor.

Luisa A. Igloria, poem Dear America (American Dream), is one of two co-winners of the 2019 Crab Orchard Poetry Open competition for her manuscript Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Southern Illinois University Press, 2020). Originally from Baguio City, Luisa A. Igloria was appointed as the 20th Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia (2020-2022). In 2015, she was the inaugural winner of the Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. Former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey selected her chapbook What is Left of Wings, I Ask as the 2018 recipient of the Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Poetry Chapbook Prize. Other works include The Buddha Wonders if She is Having a Mid-Life Crisis (Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal, 2018), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (2014 May Swenson Prize, Utah State University Press), and 12 other books.

Courtney Watson, Never Turn Your Back on the Water, winner of the “Women Hold Up Half the Sky” contest for her story, is a fiction and travel writer who earned her Ph.D. in English from The Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. A scholar of women writers as well as travel writing and literary tourism, she is always dreaming of her next destination and she is deeply inspired by the stories told in the places she visits. She lives to tell her own stories about places like the haunting beaches of southern Iceland, where she wrote the first lines of “Never Turn Your Back on the Water.” Courtney is an Associate Professor of English at Radford University Carilion in Roanoke, Virginia. She teaches courses on women writers, health humanities, American modernism, and communication in the health sciences.

Artemis Journal 2020
Artemis Journal 2020 Cover by Dorothy Gillespie

Artemis Journal 2020

Our featured writer, Natasha Trethewey, author of Native Guard, which received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2007, will be presented in a theatrical reading with stunning visuals and live music on Sunday, March 8, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. at Hollins University theatre’s Main Stage. Admission is free with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. A conversation with Trethewey, who earned her M.A. from Hollins in 1991, will immediately follow the performance.

Native Guard Poster

Featured Writer, Natasha Trethewey

U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey

2019 Artemis Journal
      Cover by Photographer Sally Mann

Artemis Journal 2019 

Featured Artist, Sally Mann, Photographer

Featured artist Sally Mann (born in Lexington, Virginia, in 1951) is one of America’s most renowned photographers. She has received numerous awards, including NEA, NEH, and Guggenheim Foundation grants, and her work is held by major institutions internationally. Her many books include At Twelve (1988), Immediate Family (1992), Still Time (1994), What Remains (2003), Deep South (2005), Proud Flesh (2009), The Flesh and the Spirit (2010), and Remembered Light (2016). In 2001 Mann was named “America’s Best Photographer” by Time magazine. A 1994 documentary about her work, Blood Ties, was nominated for an Academy Award and the 2006 feature film What Remains was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2008. Her bestselling memoir, Hold Still (Little, Brown, 2015), received universal critical acclaim and was named a finalist for the National Book Award. In 2016 Hold Still won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. Premiering in March 2018, Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings will open at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. This comprehensive exploration of Mann’s relationship with the South will travel internationally.  Mann is represented by Gagosian Gallery, in New York. She lives in Virginia.


Artemis Journal 2018

Artemis 2018 featured writer

Sharyn McCrumb


Artemis Journal 2017

Artemis featured writer 2017

Nikki Giovanni, poet



Artemis Journal 2016

Artemis 2016 featured poet & artist

Ron Smith, Virginia Poet Laureate 

Betty Branch, sculptor


Maurice Ferguson, Literary Editor, Jeri Rogers, Editor, Ron Smith,, Poet, Betty Branch, Artist

Artemis Journal 2015

ARTEMIS cover by Artist Bill White
The cover view was painted by Bill White from the Roanoke Taubman Museum of Art             
Cover artist Bill White and Artemis Editor Jeri Rogers





Artemis 2015 featured writer


Artemis Journal 2014

Artemis 2014 featured artist

Sam Krisch, photographer


Contributing Writers & Artists

Melanie Almeder


Mike Allen – Mystic Delirium


Cynthia Atkins


Judy Light Ayylidiz




Book City


 Book No Further

★ Behind the scenes at Roanoke’s Indy Bookstore


Jennifer Brody


Kelly Cherry


Mary Crockett Hill


Chris Rice Cooper Blog


The Cortland Review


 Katherine Devine

Reading & laughter in a creative life

Groundhog Poetry Press – Richard Dillard’s press


 Cathryn Hankla

★ On Roaming with the Self and Books through Lost Places

Susan Hankla, writer

https://www.visarts.org (Search for Susan Hankla)

James River Writers


Jeanne Larsen

★  On writing and the word constructs we are

Felicia Mitchell


Poet’s Market


Poetry Society of Virginia


Poets & Writers


Ashley Rhame

★ Uncovering ourselves through poetry

Roanoke Taubman Museum of Art




Lee Smith


Katharine Soniat


Sow’s Ear


The Quote Garden


The Hollins Critic




Valley Voices


Virginia Quarterly Review:


Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA)