County artists, poets in Roanoke literary journal

Botetourt County is well represented in the latest edition of Artemis, Roanoke’s premier literary journal, with two local artists and two poets published. The 2019 edition of the combination art, poetry and short stories magazine was launched Friday, June 7, at The Roanoke Taubman Museum of Art.

Artists Linda Atkinson of Fincastle and Vera Dickerson of Troutville both have artwork in the publication. Atkinson has a photo of a painted sculpture piece titled “Endless Love” in the journal. Atkinson is now a full-time artist but in the past taught studio art at Hollins and Radford Universities, Virginia Western Community College, and Roanoke College. She also has been a member of the Artemis board of directors.

Dickerson is a well-known artist whose work appears regularly in American publications. She has an MFA from American University and has taught studio and history courses across the country. She is listed in Who’s Who in American Art and Who’s Who in American Women. Her work in Artemis is titled, “Elizabethan Congo Line.”

Poets Anita Firebaugh of Troutville and Molly O’Dell of Buchanan both have poems in the journal. Firebaugh is an award-winning news reporter and blogger with a master’s degree from Hollins University. Her poem, a villanelle, is called “Daughter by the Tomb.”

O’Dell received her Master of Fine Arts degree from University of Omaha. She published her first poetry chapbook in 2016. Her poem in Artemis is titled, “Country Doctor’s Wife.”

Additionally, Maurice Ferguson of Buchanan serves as the magazine’s literary editor. Ferguson is a well-known local poet and champion of the arts in the Roanoke Valley.

Artemis was founded in 1977 by Jeri Rogers, who was working at the Women’s Resource Center at Total Action Against Poverty at the time. The magazine published annually until 2000. After a hiatus, the magazine resumed publication in 2013. Since 2017, the journal has adopted the ancient proverb “Women Hold Up Half the Sky” as its theme.

This year, a photograph by renowned photographer Sally Mann is featured on the cover. The image is from Mann’s recent show, “Sally Mann – A Thousand Crossings,” which opened last year at the National Gallery of Art. The magazine also features a poem by Natasha Trethewey, who was appointed the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2012 and 2014. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2007.

Artemis is a charitable non-profit organization made possible by a dedicated, all-volunteer team, generous contributions and the support of the Roanoke Arts Commission and The Roanoke Taubman Museum of Art. Ten percent of the earnings of the journal are donated to the Women’s Resource Center in Southwest Virginia to support the shelter for abused women.

Artemis can be ordered online at

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