Marjorie Gowdy

Poet Information

Marjorie GowdyFollow

About the Poet

Marjorie Gowdy photo

Marjorie Gowdy writes at home in the Blue Ridge mountains of Callaway, VA. A Virginia native, Gowdy was Founding Executive Director of the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, MS, which she led for 18 years. Now retired, she worked in other fields that fed her love of writing, including as a grants writer. Her poetry has been published in the Roanoke Review, Artemis Journal, Floyd County Moonshine, Valley Voices (Mississippi Valley State University), Indolent Books, Clinch River Review, Visitant-Lit, RockPaperPoem, the book Quilted Poems 2022, and art in the spring 2022 issue of Orange Peel Magazine and the 2021-22 Gallerium: Extinction catalog. Her essays are included in Katrina: Mississippi Women Remember (2007). In 2022, she received two awards in the annual contest of The Poetry Society of Virginia.: The Cenie H. Moon Prize for poetry about women, third place, "A Bow at Sunset," and The Judah, Sarah, Grace, and Tom Memorial for poetry about inter-ethnic relations, honorable mention, "Song for Charlottesville." Gowdy’s works will also be included in two 2022 anthologies of poems about Ukraine, from the Moondance Art Center and The Poet Magazine.

Gowdy also paints, with recent works accepted by the Virginia Beach Artists' Center (2020), illustrations published in Floyd County Moonshine, spring and fall 2021, in Artemis Journal 2021 (a visual poem), and included in an upcoming exhibition at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Her poems + verse, which she calls carmen duca, are also part of an exhibit, Welcome to Roanoke, in 2020-2021 at the Roanoke, VA, Municipal Building. Gowdy is a summa cum laude graduate of Virginia Tech and has a master's degree in liberal studies from University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Her work is informed by the tumbled Virginia mountains as well as her time on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and along the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina. She is currently newsletter editor for the Poetry Society of Virginia.

Poet's Statement: For many years, I approached poetry as a method of sorting through tragedies in the life of my family; this was helpful. Recently, however, I have been honing my work to concentrate in a few directions: plot in narrative poems, challenges around all of us, poems based upon historic events. It will be interesting to see where this leads me. In practically every type of poem I write, the natural world weaves among the verses.


West Central

Virginia City or County Affiliation

Franklin County

Years of Residence in Virginia


Current City/State of Residence

Callaway, VA





Year of Birth



Nature, Legends, History, Social justice

Published Works or Performances

  • Inflorescence: The Pasture at Rest. (Chapbook) Finishing Line Press, to be published March 2023.
  • "Hirundo," "Green Shutters," "Bent Mountain," "The Acorn and the Oak," "The Runner." Artemis 2015; 2019-2022.
  • "As She Bows." Roanoke Review, 2015.
  • "It's Wrong to Feel Lucky." Streetlight, 2022.
  • "Quilting" and "My Spanish Lace." Quilted Poems, Poetry Society of Virginia, 2022.
  • "Minie Ball," "China Alice" and "Orison." Poetry Society of Virginia, Centennial Anthology.
  • "For Dytyna." Poems for Ukraine Anthology, Moonstone Art Center, Philadelphia, PA, 2022.
  • "Death of a Yearling." rockpaperpoem, 2022.
  • "Heart of Sunflower." Boats Against the Current, 2022.
  • "Orison" and "Oakey's Porch." Clinch Mountain Review, 2021.
  • "Organelle." Floyd County Moonshine, 2021.
  • Transition: Poems in the Afterglow - "The Gates of Janus," "Murmuration," and "Last of the Blue Azures." Indolent Books, 2020.
  • "The Red Gate," "Papilio," and "The Furies." Visitant Lit, 2021.

Selected Individual Poems or Performances

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Marjorie Gowdy