Searching out the unusual or off the regular trail is one of the joys of having this column with DCMetroTheaterArts. Recently I attended the unveiling of the 29th volume of the Northern Virginia Review held at the Annandale, Virginia campus of Northern Virginia Community College.
The Northern Virginia Review is an annual publication of essays, fine art, photography, poetry, and short stories produced by the Northern Virginia Community College with submissions by residents of the greater Washington metropolitan areas.
Adam Chiles, editor-in-chief, Northern Virginia Review set the stage for what was a lovely, lively event held on March 26th. It included readings of prose and poetry and viewing of visual arts. There was also a vivid presentation by author Justin Martin from his new book Rebel Souls, Walt Whitman and America’s First Bohemians.
For those who interest in a lively read, Rebel Souls, is that and more. I certainly have always wondered about Whitman’s inspirations for the landmark Leaves of Grass. And for those who clamber to “feel” from Whitman to the Beat poets such as Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and those of that time and place in America, it is a read that may well bring back a sly, quiet smile of recognition and reminiscence from your own youthful life in the 1960’s.
The event also had awards presented by Chiles, on behalf of the Northern Virginia Review for:
Poetry to Carina Yun for her works, “On the Anniversary of Your Disappearance” and “Of Soy” that were noted for their “lyric power” and imagery.
Prose to Dorothy Graff-Kondal for “When Calvin Didn’t Come Home” that “portrays a mother’s attempts to navigate her grief after the disappearance of one son, and the death of another,” and Willa Friedman for Best Art Submission for her photograph titled “Street Art.”
I had the chance to speak with Friedman and asked about the inspiration for her photograph. “This image was a happy accident. I saw the mural on the wall and tried to photograph it, but there was a car in the way. Then I saw the reflection of the mural on the car and that interested me even more”. said Friedman.
“I am thrilled that my view of the world is appreciated by others. I enjoy just wandering the city and photographing what I see, but I don’t think about how others will view my images”. added Friedman who is from Springfield, Virginia and a member of the Northern Virginia Photographic Society. She also noted that her photographs have been displayed at Tysons 1st Stage Theatre. The theater regularly displays art during runs of main stage productions.
All-in-all it was an afternoon spent as a flaneur in the local area, enjoying an early spring outing.