The Derelict Voice
by David BackerPosted on May 25th, 2011 at 10:23 am
I found something today; it’s very exciting.
Some background: I spend a few minutes every morning trolling for news about living literature. The things I find are mostly local. They happen at community centers and libraries and small writing departments or in high school classrooms. I try not to focus on the Big Famous Writer News Of The Day. Instead, I look for what everyone probably isn’t talking about and will probably never talk about but probably always wants to be talking about: the ways in which poetry and poetic experience flows through the daily lives of human beings.
Today I found a literary magazine called The Derelict Voice. Actually, I didn’t find it. I only found a short news piece saying that the magazine’s second issue is coming out and that “a free reading will take place from 7:30-8:30 p.m. May 11 at Chico State University, in Performing Arts Center 135.” I did a quick search for the magazine and it doesn’t look like they have a web presence. What I found instead is a newspaper article written in October of last year describing what the magazine does and how it got started. It’s incredible. I’ll quote it at length:
At Chico’s Jesus Center, those in needcan find a shower, a meal, safe haven from the elements and, if they’re looking, perhaps the place’s namesake. But for the last several months, a different sort of salvation and succor has kept a group of men and women returning each Wednesday morning.
“When I came to Chico I had nothing but the shirt on my back,” said Scott Clark, a 33-year-old man who wandered around the country after his 2006 discharge from the Navy. “I found this place and these people gave me a notebook and a pen. It was incredible.”
The people Clark refers to are founders and members of the Derelict Voices writing group, started last Spring by four women—Eddi Deromedi, Emily Gallo, Erica McLane and Elizabeth Stewart. The four met while working at Obama’s election headquarters and started the project with no stated objective other than to share their love of reading and writing and help others better develop these skills.
It soon developed into much more, as evidenced by the recent publication ofThe Derelict Voice, a literary journal featuring poetry and prose originated and developed by the group’s participants and edited by the four founders.
One of the founders says, “It’s about giving a voice to the voiceless,” and the article notes that the name of the magazine was decided by group vote.
I guess I just wanted everyone to hear about this. The Derelict Voice probably isn’t going to be tweeted by anyone with a thousand million of followers. The Derelict Voice probably isn’t going to get picked up on the roundups and blogs and lists of links. The Derelict Voice probably isn’t going to get retweeted or Digged or “liked” on Facebook. The Derelict Voice is a derelict voice.
In any case, I’m going to try and get a copy of it.