Meet the Featured Poet: James Bane

31 May 2016 |by admin | 0 Comments | Featured Poets | ,

James Bane will be performing at the Little River Poetry Festival!

James Bane was born in Washington DC. His mother is a chef and his father is a DJ, providing him with a electric love of genres since childhood. Comic books captured his attention in 3rd grade and English quickly became his favorite subject. He moved to Newport News after elementary school where he discovered a love of history. Bane began going to spoken word events and poetry readings on October 3, 2013, which is also his birthday. He has been hooked ever since.

From the archives…

I tend to wake up at night… Bewildered, perched aside surreal cliffs.

Gargoyle-taloned questions over clouded cities. Bukowskied beer googles for 3rd iris retinal protection.
Reflections of emotion <CLAP> squashed & shooed away in a swarm of gnats.

Melancholy mood darkening, as eyes look over tombstones of my forgotten thoughts, freestyles & drunken epiphanies… Clichéd moments of clarity. Tears for a lost renaissance.

Salvador Dali/Miles Davis conversations at the Juilliard speakeasy over libation. Incense in the metallic hands of robotic witchdoctors…

I am that 1957 Plymouth Fury piston moving.

Coffee steaming after percolation.

August Landmesser’s hands to his side as burning flesh billows from smokestacks in the horizon.

Impotent Nebraskan soil in the hands of dust-bowled ranchers.

Viscosity changing in the wine glasses of 2 unfaithful lovers.

Stained glass windows atop of abandoned Detroit cathedrals.

Evicted villages deserted for World Cup fanfare.

Bloody serrations on primal knives after tribal scarification.

Church hats resting on heads of tongue-speaking Deaconesses.

Crumbled remains of God’s nose shot down from the Sphinx.

That sinister smell of indigenous blood under conquistador’s feet.

Federico Lorca’s last cry for help, while soldiers drag him at gunpoint.

A poem,

Written through the lineage of Gaia’s progeny.


Poetry Fuel: Food During the Little River Poetry Festival

30 May 2016 |by admin | 2 Comments | Other | ,

Check out the amazing spread Chef Richard Perry is catering for the Little River Poetry Festival!


Dinner: $20 per person
Grilled Mojo-Herb Chicken (chafer)
Hot Smoked Salmon with dill-caper-red onion crème fraiche (cold)
Lemon Grass-Coconut Milk Rice (chafer)

Cold Salads
Buckwheat Tabbouleh
Seaweed Salad
Baby Lettuces
Kale Slaw with sesame oil
Fresh Fruit Salad with Mint and Sorghum
Homemade Tiramisu (no raw eggs)


Breakfast: $10
Frittatas (Hot in chafer)
Vegetarian with fresh garden vegetables, local cheese, one with sausage/bacon
Coffee Breads, Muffins, Scones
Fresh Fruit Salad

Lunch: $15
Assorted Sandwich Meats (turkey, beef, pork; cooked in-house)
and Sliced Cheeses
Fresh Breads
Our Remoulade Sauce, Mustard, Lettuces, Pickles, sliced Tomatoes
Tomato-lemon Basil Gazpacho
Apple/Pear/Raisin and Walnut Salad with Honey and Fresh Yogurt
Carrot-Cucumber-Sweet Onion w/ Fresh Basil, Olive Oil and Cider Vin.

Dinner: $20
Coconut-Cashew Mahi-Mahi with Brown Butter Rum Sauce
Smoked Cider Cured Whole Chicken smoked tomato vinaigrette (cut up for service)
Saffron-Tarragon Rice with Sweet Peas
Sweet Potato Soufflé
Sesame Green Beans with “Our Log” Shiitake Mushrooms
Grilled Vegetables Lasagna
Made with our homemade pasta & ricotta cheese, fresh tomato sauce, fresh herbs

Apple-Peach-Berry Cobbler with whipped Cream


Breakfast: $10
Wild Mushroom, Leek and Apple Strudel
Mini Fruit Muffins
Asparagus-Bacon-Tomato-Dill Asiago
Fresh Fruit

Lunch: $15
Fried Herbed Chicken Fingers
Shrimp and Asparagus Salad
Spiced Pickled Beets with Oranges
Scallion-Herbed Potato Salad
Our Fermented Vegetable Slaw
Fresh Fruit Salad
Triple Chocolate Cake

Menu items are subject to change. For more information on Richard Perry, check out his website.


Meet the Featured Poet: Jack Callan

28 May 2016 |by admin | 0 Comments | Featured Poets | ,

Jack Callan is the co-founder of the Little River Poetry Festival. He will be reading and conducting a workshop at the festival!

Jack Callan has been a carpenter all his life. As a craftsman, he learned how to fit things together to make them work. As an artist, his vibrant, often startling paintings, speak of his love of color and his love of life. With this background, it was only a matter of time before he began stringing words together. As a poet, he manages to capture vivid images and sensitive imprints that live on in the minds of his audience, long after hearing his poetry.

Jack is the author of two books of poetry that challenge and delight the reader – the eclectic, “Knucklehead Poems,” and the more pastoral, “Little River on the Milky Way.” One cannot come away from his earthy, yet sensitive, portrayal of “life in the earth, according to Jack,” without the realization that one has been in the company of a good man – a trusted friend and companion for the journey we all share.

From the archives…

by Jack Callan

Like an egg, speckled warm from the nest,
a farm sifts in shadow and elegance.
I slip along the in-between to light petals
that hang from a dogwood,
cupping, like a breast, this edge of pasture.

The knob, ‘cross the way, funnels wind off the river,
sends birds into Sufi-ecstasy, and I,
a butterfly, from cup to cup dancing.
Barbed wire sprinkles holy water on unrepentant locust posts,
while a raven circles overhead, then five –
high and unforgotten, silent, so serene,
barrelin’ across the gap, not a break of wing, then gone.

This farm is a jewel in a crown of blackberry thorns,
locked in sunlight and moon cycles,
sweetsong and stubby slivers of grass.
The silence here holds many noisy voices,
snuggled under thunderheads and blue.
Hope holds to the top of the hill; I try
to imagine the red dirt a ‘runnin’, thunder,
buzzards and water thoughts,
as silence calls to rumble-groan, two deer
a snap of branch,
hissing as they climb away, turning once
in challenge, hissing,
then hissing as they go.

Might be a night of fog and light’ning,
half calm, half puttin’ on.
All things work together for green, a purple
shade on everything,
but grey will have a say in this,
blue a soft scent, and night,
still as a photograph,
hushed and wet-tender – a fragile peace.
I hold my prayer to glimpse within, such stillness,
as lightening fills the horizon from end to end.


Meet the Featured Poet: Judith Stevens

26 May 2016 |by admin | 2 Comments | Featured Poets | ,

Judith Stevens is one of the founders of Little River Poetry Festival. She will be reading and conducting a workshop!

Judith Stevens has been writing poetry since the second grade. Her poems have been published in the former “Piedmont Literary Review Magazine,” the “Randolph-Macon College Magazine,” ” The Association for Research & Enlightenment Journal,” ” Venture Inward” and other publications. She was a winner in the first “Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education International Memoir Competition,” and met her poet-husband, Jack Callan, at a poetry reading.

Together, she and Jack host poetry gatherings at local museums, farmers’ markets and hold a monthly poetry salon in their home. They delight in visiting local schools and colleges, sharing their joy of the written word with others. Judith started a weekly Creative Writing Group at the senior retirement community, First Colonial Inn, where she and Jack can be found each Thursday, writing and reading poetry with their friends, whose average age is eighty-seven.

From the archives…

Dancing With Deer by Judith Stevens
(Written on the banks of The Little River in Floyd, Virginia)

We rise – pitch-black night –
whose only light a translucent hunters’ moon,
and a blanket of stars F L U N G across the Autumn sky –
come to the quiet meadow in early morning hours,

set up our chairs by the river.

In mountain’s moon-shadow
we await the deer and dawn.

It is so still – so cold – there are no words:
the only sound, an unbroken chuckle –
water burbling over rocks – chasing itself downstream.

Leaving our chairs, we approach the car, open windows,
allow new sounds to merge with night:
cello spills like rich dark molasses onto the road; violin and bass embroider the edges;
“Appalachian Waltz” floods the darkness –

music magnified by mountains.

Grateful for warmth, we move into each other’s arms.
‘Round and ’round we turn,

letting the music fill us and the night.

While in the darkened meadow,
though we cannot see them – shy creatures that they are –
we know the deer, too, are dancing!


Meet the Featured Poet: Jill Winkowski

25 May 2016 |by admin | 0 Comments | Featured Poets |

Jill Winkowski will be performing and teaching at the Little River Poetry Festival!

Jill Winkowski is a poet, short story writer, journalist, and yoga teacher. While in the Hague in the 1990s, Jill was editor and feature writer for Going Dutch, an expatriate magazine, and ran The Rounded Moon, a monthly literary evening. She was a freelance reporter with the Daily Press in the 2000s and has led a number of fiction and poetry workshops in the Hampton Roads area.

From the archives…

Integral Yoga: Crow

The center of you
Hangs from a bone fulcrum
As you caw a warning
Something about a storm
And the way particles drift

I listen, but what I really want
Is to hang with you
In that tottering asana
Our bones approaching equilibrium

And our centers
They hold


Meet the Featured Poet: David King

17 May 2016 |by admin | 0 Comments | Featured Poets | ,

David King will be reading and conducting a workshop at the Little River Poetry Festival!

David King is a retired English teacher who composes poetry about the North Carolina mountains and the Jersey Shore. He has published a book of verse, This Side of Forever, about his late wife to whom he was married thirty-six years. He reads at various venues sharing his depictions of character and place in his work. He now resides in Moore, South Carolina and devotes his time to the pursuits of cycling, hiking, sports cars, collecting antiques, photography, and Civil War studies with his wife, Char.

From the archives…

1. Hoe Handles

I worked out on the knob
Till I was near eighteen,
Toiling among the rock
That were sprinkled on our farm

Or driving in the cows
That we kept enclosed
By some boards we stretched across
Where the hillside jutted close.

For Daddy Jim was up at light
And kept the place so clean,
It was a truly sparkling sight
White against the valley’s green.

We were taken most every day,
I mean the boys that is,
When the sun was slanting far away
To hoe the field of corn that was

Just beside the rocky creek
Whose sweet water nourished it.
We’d weed and scrape away the dirt,
So suckers wouldn’t discourage it.

For daddy said the corn was like
A woman with a secret love,
Needing some gentle talk
Not a clumsy, heated shove.

Daddy took one tool and worked
Busily along the rows
While Fred, and Tommy, and tall Jack
Spread out with their hoes.
It was early summer then,
And the stalks were close about my waist,
And looking out across that corn
My disaffection took a rise.

So I called out to him,
“When will this work be done?
For I’m fed up from
Sweating in the hot sun!”

He said, “Now Lee, you better
Git it right. I run this place,
And we’re gonna hoe this field tonight
If we have to give the moon a race!”

All of a sudden that old hoe
Blistered right up in my fist,
And I couldn’t wait to go
From that rocky, hoe-scratched place.

And I did. I left right then
With just these parting words to him,
“This God damn hoe don’t fit my hand!”
And I threw it in the corn.

Since then it has been many years
And I have known a lot of strife
From Kasserine Pass to Sicily,
And I have two girls and a wife.

But whenever I meet my dad
His mouth is thin and drawn,
As he says that old hoe blade
Is still rusting in the corn,

But he says it with respect,
And he firmly takes my hand
As if I have been brought
Into the company of men.


Meet the Feature Poet: Toni Wynn

16 May 2016 |by admin | 0 Comments | Featured Poets | ,

Toni Wynn will be performing as one of the featured poets and conducting a workshop at the Little River Poetry Festival!

As a poet, creative nonfiction writer, arts educator, and museum consultant, Toni creates and learns through the arts. She’s always recruiting artists to collaborate on limited-edition print publications and arts experiences.

Toni’s writing, which often looks at science, politics, and the natural world, is featured in anthologies and journals such as, Black Nature and The International Review of African American Art. Toni is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and member of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. She sometimes blogs about the vagaries of motherhood at Call Your Mother.

From the archives…

Returning to the Breath

Look into the space of a room.
It could be a park, there’s so much air.
Bring in eighty people off the street.
Even with their mountains of disbelief,

their seas of retold stories,
you can see beyond them.
You can tell there’s room.
Still, for all your feel-good insights,

your dearth of suffering has you disturbed;
you can’t discern if you’ve given enough.
Slumped inside a catnap, you dream of whales
breaching at close range.

Are you looking to be astonished into action?
It’s fine as well to rise into deeper, richer sleep.