Diane “Dee” Bowlin grew up in Milwaukee, WI and moved to Oklahoma to attend Oklahoma City University.  After graduating with a mathematics degree, she became a Corporate Trainer in the insurance industry and later opened her own barbecue restaurant.  Dee’s award-winning poetry, as diverse as her life, has been published in Encore and Golden Words and her song lyrics set to music and performed on stage.  She was honored as the 2011 Poetry Society of Oklahoma Poet Laureate and accepted into The National League of American Pen Women in 2012.  While visiting the east coast, the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains so inspired her writing that she moved to Roanoke, VA in July of 2012.  Dee is now a member of The Southwest Virginia Songwriters Association, the Poetry Societies of Virginia, Tennessee and Oklahoma, and serves as co-president of Roanoke Valley Pen Women.

William W. Fraker is the author of a collection of poetry, Nostalgia Resides in the Marrow (Aquillrelle, 2012).  He received a BA from Lynchburg College before earning graduate degrees from Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He taught in the department of inpatient psychiatry at Duke University and in the MSW program at Virginia Commonwealth University.  He has poetry in several on-line journals and contributed to Muscadine Lines: A Southern Anthology (KHR Ventures, 2006).  He is a member of the Writers’ Workshop in Richmond, VA.

James Gaines
is a bilingual writer living in Fredericksburg and serving as president of Riverside Writers.  His work has recently appeared in The Blue Hour, Voices on the Wind, Baseballbard, and Eerie Digest.  His collection of poems, Downriver Waltz, is forthcoming from Poetic Publishing.

Bill Glose is the author of the poetry collections Half a Man (FutureCycle Press, October 2013) and The Human Touch (San Francisco Bay Press, 2007). In 2011, he was named the Daily Press Poet Laureate. His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Narrative Magazine, Chiron Review, and Poet Lore. Honors include the Morgantown Chapter Award from the West Virginia Poetry Society, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Award, and the Virginia Press Association First Place Award for Sports News Writing. More information is available online at

Esther Whitman Johnson
has worked in public education for over three decades as high school English teacher, counselor, and Director of Guidance. Now she travels the globe, doing volunteer gigs on five continents, from Mexico to Madagascar, Chile to Cambodia, and points in between.

Inspired by rolling blue mountains and the slant of sun along grassy fields, Sarah E N Kohrs savors life in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She is a writer and artist, who home-schools her three young sons. Having earned a B.A. in Classical Languages and Archaeology, as well as a Virginia state teaching licensure endorsed in Latin and Visual Arts, Sarah infuses her love of languages, art, and antiquity into her poetry. In addition to writing, Sarah works most often with pottery and photography – seeking a unique perspective on how surroundings can kindle hope in even a disparaged heart. SENK maintains two blogs, Sun-splashed Window and Ink-Splattered Desk. Find her on-line at

Sigrid Mirabella (originally from Long Island, NY) defines herself as a social hermit and hopeful skeptic living in rural uncertainty. Her works have won awards and have appeared in The Blue Ridge Anthology, Mid-America Poetry Review, Long Island Pet Gazette, Lynchburg News And Advance, Dog Fancy, Woman’s Day, Countryside, People Magazines, and various Macmillan/Howell books. In her other life, she works for a humane society in Nelson County, Virginia.

Becky Mushko, winner of the 1996 “Worst Western Category” and the 2008 “Vile Pun” categories in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, is a three-time winner of the Sherwood Anderson Short Story Contest. Her stories have appeared in A Cup of Comfort for Writers, Vols. II & III of Anthology of Appalachian Writers, and other publications. Many of her stories have been recycled into Kindle books: Rest in Peace, Over Coffee, and Miracle of the Concrete Jesus and Other Stories. Her print books include Ferradiddledumday and Stuck, both from Cedar Creek Publishing. She blogs about her life in rural Penhook at

Marian Pearce: Baby of the baby on both sides;/motherless at four./Lived twelve different places before sixteen—/Took a bite of college./College didn’t agree./Rode the back of a tandem until too pregnant—/Labored 42 hours in a London flat—/Both back on the tandem by spring, sleeping in a tent./Homesteaded badly and un-schooled indifferently in sub-poverty—/Nursed three offspring three years each while perfecting doughnuts, yogurt, and tofu./Canned gardens; harvested acorns, cattail roots and poke salad./Milked pygmy goats, hatched ducks; dropper fed squirrels—/Warmed snakes in her shirt and rats in her pockets—/Crafted purple-plotted bedtime stories and Children’s Theatrics—/Logged ten thousand hours reading aloud./None of her offspring are boring./Volunteered time she didn’t have;/Nursed the dying—/Waited tables—/Waited on promises. /Loved intensely; lost wildly./She writes both to find herself and to keep from getting mislaid.

Anna Quillon notes that she is lucky enough to be a Charlottesville native … and enthusiast! “There’s no place in the world that I love more than my little hometown!” Those who know her also know  she’s lucky enough to have a great camera and an “eye” for photography! For the last year or so, she has been growing a little page on Facebook called “The Hometown Tourist – Charlottesville, VA” that has allowed her to combine her love for photography with her love for the Central Virginia area and to constantly be on the lookout for interesting places to explore and fun things to do in the community! Visit her Facebook page to enjoy more of her photos:

R. T. Smith is Writer-in-Residence at Washington & Lee University, where he has served as editor of Shenandoah since 1995.  His work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, New Stories from the South and The Pushcart Prize Anthology.  His most recent book is The Red Wolf: A Dream of Flannery O’Connor, and his In the Night Orchard: New and Selected Poems is forthcoming in 2014.  Smith has twice received the Library of Virginia Prize for Best Book of Poetry and in 2013 received the Weibstein Prize for Poetry.

Elizabeth Doyle Solomon is a native of New Orleans. She started writing at age eleven and publishing at age thirteen. A prolific writer, she stopped counting poems at 100,000. A retired teacher, she taught in public and private schools and now tutors privately. She also leads a weekly poets’ critique group. Elizabeth published Seasons, an illustrated book of nature poems, and wrote columns for many newspapers, including the one she founded, the Central Virginia Leader. Her poems have appeared recently in Timber Creek Review, The Lyric, and Plainsongs. Her latest book of poetry, The Steering Wheel Poems, was published in 2010 by Cedar Creek Publishing.

Jack Trammell lives on a farm in Central Virginia, where he is a modern agrarian and a recognized voice of Appalachia (born in Berea, Kentucky). His writing credits are diverse, ranging from hundreds of poems, articles, and stories to larger book-length projects and academic research related to his college teaching. He is a trained historian, a research methodologist, and an environmental advocate, but most of all he is committed to the act and art of writing, as well as encouraging others in their personal literary journeys.  Visit his website to learn more,

Meet the Selection Editors:
Sarah Collins Honenberger’s novel Catcher, Caught is a Pen/Faulkner Foundation selection in its Writers in Schools program. Audio and German editions were released in October 2012. With numerous short fiction awards and a fellowship from the Virginia Creative Arts Center, she appears regularly on literary panels and at book festivals. Her other novels include Waltzing Cowboys (2009) and White Lies: A Tale of Babies, Vaccines and Deception (2006), both nominees for the Library of Virginia Fiction Award.

Sara M. Robinson, founder of the Lonesome Mountain Pros(e) Workshop and instructor of a course on Contemporary Women Poets at UVA-OLLI, is poetry columnist for Southern Writers Magazine. In addition to publication in various anthologies and journals, she is poet and author of Love Always, Hobby and Jessie (2009), Two Little Girls in a Wading Pool (2012), and A Cruise in Rare Waters (2013). Her workshop has published their first anthology, We Grew Wings and Flew (2014)

Meet the Volume Editor:
DeAnna Miller Wolfe, has been in printing and publishing for over 25 years. She also has experience in organizing large events. Her hobbies are reading, antiquing, and traveling. Her two beautiful daughters are grown, and she has an amazing grandson.

Virginia Literary Journal - Issue #1

Contents and Contributors

Splendid Shelter by Dee Bowlin
My Virginia by Jack Trammell
Tangier Island by Bill Glose
Moonlight on the Virginia Capes by James Gaines
Reprieve by Marian Pearce
Around Libby Hill on a Summer Night by William Fraker
Walking into the Blue Ridge by Sigrid Mirabella
Surrender Field by Bill Glose
Periphery by Esther Johnson

Reflections of a Gentleman Farmer by Jack Trammell
A Man of His Word by Becky Mushko
Coffin Dulcimer by R. T. Smith
Caterwaul by R. T. Smith
The Howardsville Gold by Elizabeth Solomon

Shenandoah Country Farm by Sarah Kohrs
Dogwood by Sarah Kohrs
Columns at Swannanoa by Anna Quillon
Maple Sap Dripping by Sarah Kohrs
Clay by Anna Quillon

Virginia Literary Journal