The Salon of Writers and Artists

This is the Patrick Henry Pub, where the Salon took place.

This is the Patrick Henry Pub, where the Salon took place.

This poem was written by Joanna Lee.

On Hearing the History of the Poe Gardens at the Literary Salon in the Patrick Henry Pub

(based on the painting by Chris Ludke)


Nestled in a backdrop of chatter and raven windowpanes,

of sweating whiskey and melted rocks, light

plays on water and the pale of crepe,

of periwinkle. A sun plastically brightly cuts

the hard edge of a shadow that could stand

on it’s own, lonesome and unnatural.

And I remind myself this is about connection, that we,

rose-less, are a hundred variations of the same thorn.


Joanna hears her muse! You can look her up at

This is the Poe Museum.

This is the Poe Museum.

I thought the Salon was great! The 1st person to speak told the history of the Poe garden. It’s been through a lot of changes. It was interesting to hear where the different elements of the garden came from. Then Joanna read “Ode to a Grecian Urn” by Keats. and passed around a photo so you can see the little scenes, similar to the ones Keats described in flowery language, painted on the urn. A lot of writers get inspiration from visual art, and visual artists get inspiration from authors.

The writers took a break to talk to their friends, or write a poem based on the theme of the Poe gardens. Then some of them read their poems. It was good to hear the poems, and to hear them talk about truth and beauty, and art, and what I can gather about the craft of writing.

My friends at the Poe tell me they’re planning on more artist / writer salons, and other types of art events. They’re “Calling All Creatives”. The Salon is a great old idea I hope to take part in again.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. joanna
    Apr 18, 2016 @ 13:36:30

    Chris, thanks so much for sharing this! It was definitely an evening where beauty begot beauty!


  2. joanna
    Apr 18, 2016 @ 13:41:11

    Reblogged this on the tenth muse and commented:
    A very kind shout-out and collaborative nod from artist Chris Ludke, whose work inspired the poem at our Literary salon last week. You can check out her work here: (– the painting’s title is Poe’s Enchanted Garden. More info on upcoming literary salons in Richmond can be found on the James River Writers’ site, here:


  3. Trackback: The Salon of Writers and Artists – davidpatteson

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