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Reverse-Ekphrastic Poems by Members of the Poetry Society of Virginia
and Students of the Appomattox Regional Governor's School,
Accompanied by Fine Art by Virginia Artists


A splendid achievement! Views of Virginia, a new anthology of poetry and visual art edited by Kathleen Decker and co-edited by Terry Cox-Joseph, began as a centennial project of the Poetry Society of Virginia; the conceit was to invite a wide range of artists to reflect on the breadth of the state’s past and its present, its landscapes and its byways, its wildlife and its people. Mission accomplished. As Emma Lazarus once said of the Statue of Liberty, the anthology “glows wide welcome.” There’s the same openness to voices of all stripes and strengths; the same mission to forge and honor community; the same blend of the proud and pretty with the hard and the gritty. Notes of noble historical achievement are sounded, as are evocations of the harsher racial realities. But the dominant mood is overwhelmingly celebratory: there is loveliness here.


The 64 poems and 66 art pieces are given alternating full pages and are thematically linked. The colorful visual art, in a wide range of styles but consistently striking, includes paintings and drawings, photography and quilting work. The thoughtful writers range from accomplished high schoolers, to strong poets in their prime, to polished or folksy retirees. I know of no other book quite like it.


~Derek Kannemeyer, author of Mutt Spirituals and Unsay Their Names

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