Traveling the River

by Hope Whitby

Growing up in rural, southern Virginia, Hope Whitby planted marigolds in the garden with her mother, canoed the Nottoway River with her father, and waited for the bookmobile on the porch with her sisters Vicky and Kelly. Her debut poetry collection captures with great intimacy and warmth a girlhood immersed in the natural world, and a poet’s coming of age.

Traveling the River is a book about strong roots, new beginnings, and the timeless redemptive power of art and nature. “Give my words seed,” Whitby writes, “and they will take root.”

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As serious as a heart attack, as tender as love’s flutters in the chest or a chihuahua’s first trembling bath, the vital core of this book is haiku. In Hope Whitby’s hands (as Mary Oliver has said in another context), the form is “a doorway into thanks.” ... Here’s a new poet, a poet on her way to “a new moon [that] still shines.”
— Ron Smith, Poet Laureate of Virginia 2014-16



HOPE WHITBY is a poet, fiction writer, and haiku aficionado. She is the creator of Art in the Shop and Books in the Bay book club supporting the local Richmond art scene since 2012. 

Hope has received awards for her poetry from the Virginia Poetry Society and Richmond magazine. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her Chihuahua, Princess. 


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Life in 10 Minutes Press partners with local artists to create beautiful artwork for the covers of many of our books. For Traveling the River, we worked with Petersburg, Virginia-based artist LISA MISTRY to create a scene of the Nottoway River in Virginia, where Hope canoed with her father as a child. Lisa’s choice of block printing, a traditional Asian and European method, reflects her heritage as well as Hope’s passion for haiku, haibun, and other Japanese poetry forms.


Cover Art for Traveling The River By Hope Whitby.jpg




  • July 25, 2019 | Poetry, Prose & Pizza | Prince George Branch Library, Prince George Va. | 6:00 - 8:00 pm

  • August 24, 2019 | Poetry Cafe | Book People, Richmond Va. | 1:00 - 2:30 pm


  • June 4, 2019 | Words on Fire: Poetry Happy Hour | Firehouse Theatre, Richmond Va. | 6:00 - 8:00 pm


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