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Published by High Tide Publications, Deltaville, Virginia, 2023

     The anthology Blended Voices: Blending the Voices of Virginia Poets began as a Poetry Society of Virginia (PSV) workshop I designed during the PSV Centennial year (2023). The Centennial theme was to celebrate the diverse voices of Virginia poets. I conceived of the idea of highlighting four historic Virginia poets from diverse backgrounds, with the aim of blending their voices with those of diverse contemporary Virginia poets. The second goal was to educate participants about historic Virginia poets as they prepared to blend their voices with those of the historic poets (Edgar Allen Poe, Ruby Altizer Roberts, Anne Spencer, Karenne Wood).

     The result is a joyful selection of widely different poetic contents and styles. Most of the historic poems are reprinted in the beginning of the book, so the reader can understand the original intent and experience the historic poets’ voices before they are blended with voices from contemporary Virginia poets.

     Sofia M. Starnes, Virginia Poet Laureate, Emerita, added her editing expertise, deep experience, and keen poetic eye to the process of compiling the anthology. We hope you enjoy the resulting collection, and that the blending of voices it represents will foster a further blending of Virginia’s diverse peoples and cultures.

~Kathleen P. Decker, Editor

The Inside Scoop!

Blended Voices:

Blending the Voices of Virginia Poets


“Reading an anthology is like traveling to a new country to see new places and meet new people. But the reading experience also involves time travel. This is particularly true of Blended Voices because the poems gathered here were inspired by poems written by Virginia poets of the past. Readers of this anthology will enjoy meeting a wide variety of contemporary poets who have created a new music by blending their voices with voices of the past.

~Dr. Henry Hart, Prof., College of William & Mary, Virginia Poet Laureate Emeritus

"Thoughtful poets need thoughtful readers. These poems will both surprise and enlighten parts of you that may have been dozing or sleeping for some time. The poems used for inspiration lift language and these poets launch their new work from the solid foundations. Be inspired again, thoughtful reader!"

~Guy Terrell, Past President and Treasurer, Poetry Society of Virginia, Co-author of A Short History of Richmond (The History Press) and The Fourth Branch of Government: We the People with Jack Trammell.

"A tribute to Virginia and its poets, Blended Voices showcases the history, landscape, attitudes, art, and elegy of what this state has produced. Each poem’s insistence on incorporating lines from Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Spencer, Ruby Altizer Roberts, and Karenne Wood guarantees that the poem not only represents the voice of a contemporary poet, but also converses with Virginia’s poetic legacy. Relive prior centuries in Latorial Faison’s “On Being Bought, From Africa to Virginia,” a poem in two parts...And I dare you to read Sue Davis Gabbay’s “Gift of the Dance” without tears or anger. Blended Voices champions Virginia, “a land where” “every spot is a threshold” (Andy Fogle, “Oceanfront After All”), and gives “its ages of treasure to hold and to view” (Anne Spencer, “Black Man O’Mine”) in fewer than a hundred powerful pages."

~Dr. Stan Galloway, Prof., Bridgewater College, Founder of the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, and author of Just Married

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