It’s a chilling and sobering time in the world, with what is happening in Gaza, and the Ukraine, and Syria and Iraq and so many other places in the world, including right here in the US. It’s been difficult to work on and bring out this issue, in the midst of all the sadness and chaos surrounding us.
But writers everywhere continue to write, and for that I am infinitely grateful. With this issue we celebrate the power of voice, of speaking and going on speaking, of continuance. Poet Gregory Luce, a practicing Tibetan Buddhist, writes of finding unexpected beauty in the mundane, of pursuing clarity and joy, of learning that “all beings suffer and experience joy similarly.” Publisher Andrew Gifford, whose story of dedication to his press is truly astonishing, talks about his view of publishers being “servant to the arts” and working to support writers with a voice. Andrew, who is also working on a memoir, out of a troubled and endured past, speaks of the impelling fire behind its creation, to “Tell the story. Tell the secrets. Take its power away.” (Perhaps something our nation could learn from.)
Delphi celebrates a first with this issue, a Delphi-profiled writer interviewing a writer she knows, an Interview Connector model we invite every previously-profiled writer to follow! Seriously, writers, we need your participation! Whether a short interview or a long one, we’d appreciate hearing about the writers you know.
Delphi is in the process of growing and changing, as the world around us changes, sometimes in the most unhappy ways. In response to rampant government censorship, secrecy, surveillance, and attempts to quell free speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of the Press, even here, no, especially here, in the “land of the free,” we call on fiction and nonfiction writers, poets, artists, activists, and ethical scientists everywhere to speak out and keep on speaking out. The whole world needs your voice!
In the words of the immortal Nadine Gordimer who left us this summer: “For the word, which we writers have in our possession and our keeping, is ours. It is not only protest, it is affirmation. The unkillable word. …(The) writers are singing in the words of Pablo Neruda: This is the song of what is happening and what will be. (“The Unkillable Word,” The Essential Gesture (Penguin, 1988))
So, true to our name, we hope to offer more of a space to writers from now on, not merely as a space for interviews, but as a space for writers–and artists and peace/justice/environmental activists and ethical scientists–to share their views, particularly on current affairs, the continuing power of art, the increasing influence of spirituality and awakened consciousness, and, a very slightly covered subject in other journals, ethics in twenty-first science and technology. Too much is going on, too much is being hidden. And where are our philosophers, our poets, our mystics? Where is the voice of the fiction writer, the essayist, the artist, the thoughtful and conscious and conscientious scientist?Delphi aims to step beyond the cacophony of voices of conventional “power” in the news to highlight the voices of the truly powerful thinkers, artists, actors, and visionary dreamers among us, however widely or slightly published they may be. We are looking for op-eds, on a subject of your choice. Please send a brief query, if interested.
Delphi visits Washington, DC once more this summer to interview two notable anchors of the DC literary scene, poet Gregory Luce, and memoirist and publisher Andrew Gifford of the intriguingly-named small press Santa Fe Writers Project (SFWP). As in our last issue, both richly varied and textured conversations are presented as feature interviews. This issue also features a new first, where an interviewed writer returns to present a writer whose work she knows, a model Delphi hopes to build on for future issues. Special thanks to Naomi Thiers for inaugurating the Interview Connector!
Poet Gregory Luce talks to poet Naomi Thiers (whose new book of poetry In Yolo County was featured in our Winter 2014 issue) about recurrent themes and interests in his work, his focus on revealing “inscape” as Hopkins speaks about, and finding unexpected beauty among the mundane. In a book-end interview to last season’s focus on Rose Solari’s Alan Squire Publishing, publisher Andrew Gifford speaks to Delphi’s solo editor this season, Ramola D, about the joys and travails of starting a literary press, the tremendous achievements of SFWP over the years, the writers SFWP publishes and the great possibilities for expanding the literary landscape toward new and more experimental work that small-press publishing increasingly offers. Additionally, Andrew talks about his background as heir to DC’s famed Giffords’ icecream legacy and about the memoir he is working on, We All Scream.
We hope you enjoy the issue!
Born and raised in Washington, DC, Andrew Gifford is the founder and director of the Santa Fe Writers Project (www.sfwp.com). Over the years, to (in his words) fuel his crippling publishing habit, he’s worked as a caterer, a bookseller, a groundskeeper, in call centers, as the wire editor for an Associated Press company, as a business writer for Oxford Intelligence, and as a development editor for the American Psychological Association books department. He is currently working on completing his own memoir highlighting his experiences as heir to the Gifford icecream legacy, We All Scream.
Gregory Luce was born in Dallas and raised in Texas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. He has lived in Washington, DC, since 1980, working for most of those years as a production specialist at National Geographic. His poems have been published widely and he is the author of 3 books of poetry: Signs of Small Grace (Pudding House, 2010), Drinking Weather (Finishing Line Press, 2011), and Memory and Desire (Sweatshoppe, 2013). In May, he won the 2104 Larry Neal Writers’ Award in poetry for a DC-based writer—which seems fitting, as his poems often reflect the day-to-day of living in DC. He is interviewed by his friend and fellow poet Naomi Thiers.
As Delphi marks the summer of 2014, our second year, with this our seventh issue, we invite writers, poets, playwrights, and filmmakers everywhere to join us–interview a fellow/sister writer or filmmaker, offer us insights into your writing residencies, centers, and workshops! If you have been interviewed in these pages, we invite you to join the Interview Connector, to follow up with an interview of your own, to introduce a writer you know to a larger audience. Please drop in at our Guidelines page, send us your thoughts. We want to hear from you!
As writers ourselves, the editors of Delphi Quarterly envision this journal as a diverse and inclusive space for conversations on craft with writers across genres—fiction, poetry, drama, film, ecological and creative non-fiction—and across levels of accomplishment. These conversations will highlight a single published piece of writing, whether a book, poem, essay, play, film, or story.
We invite you to join us on these pages to become part of a global conversation on writing. We are especially interested in including writers who have published a great deal but not yet published a book, authors of texts on nature and the environment, and small-press authors and translators of prose and poetry whose books are lost to time.
Delphi seeks to be a democratic venture and a space for many voices. We encourage writers to help spread the word about Delphi, as well as actively participate by interviewing deserving writers. Please see our Guidelines page for how to query us.