(Former workshop leader Ramola D, who moved to Boston a few years ago, recently emailed to let us know about Delphi Quarterly, a newly-launched online site she co-founded that publishes interviews with writers. She was glad to write about the site for First Person Plural.)
Delphi rose out of a feminist vision of connection—writers connecting with other writers, writers speaking with, inspiring, and supporting each other—and when I first began to mull over the idea of starting a journal of craft interviews and literary conversations online, I was drawn especially to the notion of creating an across-all-levels platform for a diversity of writers’ voices.
We seem to live in a world dominated by the promotion, publicity, and hype generated by mainstream publishing—an old-school model that reeks of commerce and patriarchy. Too often we do not hear the voices of the visionary poet, the experimental prose writer, the serious fiction writer or essayist, the playful linguist, the revolutionary satirist, the documentary ecologist, the thoughtful memoirist or dramatist. If you are young, a beginning writer, an “emerging” writer (emerging into publication, I assume that means), a writer struggling for years to publish your manuscripts, a writer writing outside the norms of acceptability for mainstream publishers to recognize, your voice is not heard except in your own immediate environs—for years and years—while entrenched others, deserving or not, are lionized to perdition.
A Platform for Your Voice
We at Delphi think there is value in your voice, in hearing your voice and in including your voice, while you are writing, reading, publishing pieces in local or larger forums, living your writing life, and living your creating, rather than only when you land the agent, the book deal, the million-dollar movie deal. We know and live the understanding that writing is a process, and can accompany a life. We want to create a space where you and I and all the writers we know can talk shop, talk craft, and exchange insights while we are living this one-and-only writing life.
The Writer as Publisher & From the Workshops
Early in Delphi’s inception, Joe Ponepinto, Book Review Editor for The Los Angeles Review, who co-edits the journal with me, offered for inclusion a series of his interviews with writers as publishers. This now forms a regular feature—our launch issue highlighted Sarah Gorham, of the wide-reaching Sarabande Books—and we hope to keep it going. With the launch, we also introduced a workshop feature, where we highlight a writing workshop: participants can interview the workshop leader, or the other way around, or each other, mainly to give a glimpse of what the workshop is about, its high points and excitements. Our launch featured the Bangalore Writers Workshop, a fearless venture embarked on by a recent MFA graduate, Rheea Mukherjee, with her writer friend Bhumika Anand—participants from their workshops interviewed them. We are moving currently to also include documentary filmmakers in our rubric.
Writers Interviewing Writers
We invite you to join the conversation. Literally, this means, if you are a writer, beginning or established, if you admire the work of any writer you know or work with, please interview her or him! Send us a note first to introduce the writer to us. We are looking for interviews that highlight craft and focus surrounding a single published work, whether a book, a poem, a story, an essay, or a play—recent, or from another time. We want to encourage writers to interview each other—interview the writers you know and the ones you admire; do round-robin interviews of writers in your writing workshop, short or long. If you are in a workshop, as participant or leader or peer, whether a paid-for or private workshop, offer us insights into how your workshop works, what it does best, to be featured in From the Workshops.
Please drop in at Delphi Quarterly online for more information and to read our unique launch issue featuring Vermont poet Neil Shepard and Baltimore writer Justin Sirois. Delphi wants to feature your voice!