Photography Notes – Spring 2016

About the Photography in River River

David e. Bell curated the photography for this issue of River River. Following are his anecdotes on the photographs and the artistic process of pairing them with the literary works in the journal.    —AA

Gypsy on Hillside

Our Cover Image

Gypsy on Hillside – this photograph is from Christopher Woods’s catalogue of images. I chose this picture for the cool spring mists and the quiet solitude it evokes.



Walking into the Dusk
Cover Page Footer

Winter afternoon in Charleston. The sun streaming down Broad Street as someone hurries home for warmth and dinner.



tattered dragonfly

Leaving Eden

Tattered Dragonfly is another memorable image from Christopher Woods. I chose this image to represent beauty remembered and the imperfection of memory.


A Voice Lesson
cafe table


This image from Lily Crowley captures a moment far away from home, yet still familiar, words printed in a foreign language, and scent of Turkish coffee drifting down the cobbled street.



Dog Days

Another winter afternoon in the deep south. The sky is reflected, and the memories of road trips past lie heavy in the cooling air.



Breath, VisibleBicycle in snow

This snowy New York image comes from the camera of Jennifer Wortham. Her Canadian sensibilities and years living in New York City combine to provide unique images.


Cross in a Cyprus Swamp

After the Flood

This photograph was taken on a chilly January day, deep in a cyprus swamp in North Carolina. This was just after dawn, and the flood waters are just past their peak. Our boat is floating over what normally would be “dry” land.


Christopher_Woods-Windows_Alamo_Street_Christopher_WoodsNot that New York

Windows – Alamo Street, another wonderful image from Christopher Woods. I chose this image to contrast with the poem, since photograph so strongly echoes the iconic New York of “West Side Story” and other New York City tales.


Hudson Memories

Sister Said

A foggy day in the late fall, memories of quiet water captured, leaves floating like canoes, down river drifting…



Crowsat work

The photograph is of an early morning at the Charleston Marketplace. It’s a gray damp morning, and the vendors are hustling to get set up and are dreaming of hot coffee, conversation, and customers.

walking past the bars


“…i remember your headaches
your austere fury…”

This image just jumped out and said, use me.

Abstract shapes and shadows

excerpt from MAL

Shapes and Shadows – this contrasty image is the detail of a sculpture mounted on a poured concrete wall.



graveyard walk



While not Gettysburg nor in fact a military cemetery, I feel that this shot captures the sadness of the gardens of stone that grow on the battlefields of the world. The cross is not so much a religious icon but a struggle to remember those whose lives were cut short and whom history has forgotten.


Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle

Because winter still holds New York City in its thrall, Charleston, SC, is standing in for summertime, shimmering heat and all the delights that make summer in New York so special.




luluWhat Lily Crowley loves about photography is that it gives a purpose to adventure beyond the actual experience, and through it, you find different ways of seeing things. She just finished studying with Slovenian photographer Iztok Bocina at Metelkova in Ljubljana, and will return home to Vermont in the spring, where she will continue studying with her teacher, Laura DeCapua.

Christopher Woods_5x7_300dpi - Photo by Linda Woods (1)Christopher Woods is a writer, teacher and photographer who lives in Houston and Chappell Hill, Texas. His published works include a novel, The Dream Patch, a prose collection, Under a Riverbed Sky, and a book of stage monologues for actors, Heart Speak. His short fiction has appeared in many journals including The Southern Review, New Orleans Review and Glimmer Train. He conducts private creative writing workshops in Houston. His photography can be seen in his gallery –

Jennifer Wortham lives in illustrious, stimulating and chaotic NYC.  Professionally, she is a social worker and a psychotherapist. Her spare time is spent writing, taking photographs, talking and laughing with friends, and a few other things.

Uncredited photos are from the library of David e Bell.