with David Dephy:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
David: I started writing poetry and prose at the age of 21, I earned my undergraduate degree MFA from the Faculty of Architecture at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Georgia, I was making a Video Art as well, but I started writing in English, after 8 months of my arrival in the US, in 2017. Thanks to AFI (Artistic Freedom Initiative in New York City) they helped me with my documents and with my case.
In all honesty I was influenced by the people like Jack London, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, but my first love always was Edgar Allan Poe, with these two gentlemen and seers of vision: William Blake and Kahlil Gibran.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
David: Oh, I like reading the works of Wayne Miller, Stephen Frech, Joshua Corwin, Aaron Fisher, Gloria Monaghan, Luise Gluke, but I am on my way, I have my style, my voice, and I cannot say who is my biggest influence today, everyone and no one at the same time. Everything is open widely and wildly today, writing poetry is spiritual adventure with joy, for me.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art? Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe?
David: I was born and grown up in country of Georgia, I am a trilingual poet, I believe that my homeland is where my heart is and this understanding of space and time and ruts and tradition is deeper than any ideas of identity.
I feel that Western civilization and Eastern civilization are the one joint spiritual imprint on the body of humanity itself. Yes, I travel a lot in Europe and in the USA, and I found my home here in America. I am absolutely not rhyming with the political situation in Georgia, today. I have deep sense of responsibility.
Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
David: Killing question, to be honest, deadly question for any poet. My latest work of course! Look, I write because I like it and have a story to tell. I like the process and results. I have a message of hope and comfort. I have an idea.
I think that a human being gets strength from the truth and transfers that strength to others and fills them with comfort and allows them to carry on and hold on during everyday struggles. This truth for me is poetry and it has no boundaries. I feel silence in me, first and when I feel it, I know in that very second, that time is near, something is going on. I called this process architecture of feelings, sounds and visions.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a poet/writer/artist?
David: I painted a portrait once, back in 80’s when I was 21 yo and I wrote on it “let me tell you a story why I painted you so beautifully” and I realized that I am a poet, I have a story to tell, and started writing. I have heard a call. I followed my own self.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
David: I do not know what is this. I am working and relaxing at the same time, work is so relaxing and relax is work, axis of meditative observation.
I am an author of Eastern Star full-length poetry book written directly in English language and published by Adelaide Book in New York City in October 2020, also, 15 collections of poetry, written in Georgian language, 8 novels and three audio albums of poetry with orchestra and electronic bands.
As a writer I realize that much is demanded from me, but not much is forgiven to me… That if I figure it out by what means I want to distinguish myself, then I will understand who and what I am in reality… And, that if in our inner world and in this multi-language dictionary of mankind survive the following words such as Freedom, Responsibility, Comfort, then the world will also survive. For me this is the mission of literature and of mine as a poet’s and novelist’s justification for existence.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects coming up that you’d like to promote?
David: My second full-length book of poetry Lilac Shadow of a Tree is forthcoming by MadHat Press this year in September 2021.
In this particular and challenging time I am working as a caregiver with the brilliant man Vincent Petrolino who is 104 years old, I am so lucky because this experience of caregiving, especially with the 104 yo old man is a real deal, I mean a real – real deal for any writer in the galaxy, because you are working with the man who really lived and still lives through the history of the USA and saw and felt everything in his life, and btw this is very spiritual job as well – caregiving in general, you are not only just a helper, but a comfort-giver and guardian, you are making people’s life as a joy and you are learning a lot about a human being, that’s what I am talking about, you are experiencing a real life – not sitting in some fancy bar and crying about life. Gotcha?
And I am making Poetry Orchestra project, this is the video/sound art global poetry project with the musicians and artists such as Saphileaum, Irakli Gabriel and Andrea Meparishvili and the poets across the United States of America, who I admire. I am sure this form of expression is the future of poetry. (See the link down below)
Q8: One of your favorite lines from a poem of yours?
David: I have not favorite lines from my or others’ work, if verse is good, it is good as a whole with every word and every line and every smell, and color and every nerve in it, as a whole universe all around and inside us.
I have my favorite poems, books, novels, albums, songs, musicians and architectures, and even slogans. I am a man of word and I feel that poetry is such a sacrifice, it is tangible. It is such an enormous concept, that it cannot be only my personal matter.
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
David: Father, Georgian folk songs, American blues, American literature, movies of Peter Greenaway and Billy Wilder and these three absolutely masterpiece rock-albums: Jesus Christ Superstar, Abbey Road and The Dark Side of the Moon.