Views of Virginia was conceived as a reverse ekphrastic project to prompt Virginia poets to express their views usings visual imagery, colorful descriptions, and evocative images. Any subject was open for poetry and art as long as it had to do with celebrating Virginia. Inside you will find poems paired with drawings, paintings, photos, and quilts.
Members of the Poetry Society of Virginia submitted poems for this anthology and we invited gifted high school students from the Appomattox Regional Governor's School to participate as well. Twenty-one students participated and generated novel and excellent poems. Artists were recruited from local art groups in southern Virginia and two gifted youths also submitted art.
The result is a fabulous amalgam of beauty and ugliness, despair and hope, defacement and creation, love and philosophy, history and identity, angst and transcendence. It illustrates the burden and shame of slavery, the beauty and bounty inherited from the natives whose land the Europeans took and the legacy we have been given, the flora and fauna of the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains, the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, the struggles of inner city evolution (and sometimes, devolution), the coming-of-age of politics and Civil War events, up to the defacement and removal of said war hero statues. It also includes poems that honor ancestors who fought on both sides of the Civil War and familial connection to the land that Virginian's love.