David Dephy is a Georgian-born American award-winning poet and novelist and the winner of the Finalist Award in the 2020 Best Book Award National Contest by American Book Fest, as well as the Spillwords Poetry Award.
A few details about yourself.
I started writing in English 8 months after my arriving 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 a lot. They are just incredible people. I am a poet, 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.
I am an author of 15 collections of poetry, written in the Georgian language, 8 novels and three audio albums of poetry with orchestra and electronic bands.
In English, my poetry full book-length Eastern Star has been released by Adelaide Books on October 28, 2020 and, forthcoming are A Mystiere, a novel (translation into English by Adham Smart and Marc Vincenz) by Mad Hat Press in 2021 and poetry, directly written in English (as Eastern Star or other my works) — Lilac Shadow of a Tree by Mad Hat Press as well.
The story of A Mystiere leads us out of ourselves. This is a detective and mystical story about two poets and one novelist, but one of them is insane, and we do not know exactly who. . . It is up to the reader. The readership is a church for me. Holy of holies.
What does being an exophonic writer mean to you?
In all honesty this is another kind of responsibility. This is the new ‘yourself’ (but I am a tri-lingual poet). This is an absolute new dimension of hardest challenge and sweetest smell of success.
Language is a pretty spiritual adventure, for me. It may sound strange, when your native and foreign language meet each other in your consciousness and find a forever home there. But this is love, and expressing love, especially in the language which lives inside your heart, is a supreme achievement of poetry to me, because for me poetry itself is a native language of humanity and spiritual constitution of all mankind.
What do you write? What is your writing process like?
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 the time is near, something is going on. I call this process ‘Architecture of feelings, sounds and visions’ (and btw, I earned my undergraduate degree MFA from the Faculty of Architecture at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Georgia.
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 be special, 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 the mankind, the following words such as Freedom, Responsibility, Comfort survive, then the world will also survive. For me this is the mission of literature and mine as a poet’s and novelist’s justification for existence.
What’s the last book that made you cry?
Jesus the Son of Man by Kahlil Gibran, Oscar and the Lady in Pink by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, of course and Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. . . Oh, it’s been a very long time.
What advice would you give to other exophonic writers?
In all honesty this works much better for any writers, not only for exophonic:
Read a lot.
Write a lot.
Cut a lot.
Feel the joy of yourself first and feel the heartbeat of language as yours, and share them. Poetry is the answer to all the mysteries of our world. Poetry, a reason for the existence of language, is a breath which brings out every genuine word in that very moment when you are standing across from yourself, language, and poetry itself and you have no fear, because you are free. Be free and feel the responsibility of your linguistic and emotional freedom and trust them. Feel the sounds of trust. Trust is the language of the Lord. Listen.
Be brave, keep your heart soft and your mind open, and read, read, read! And write, write, write!
Read David’s poem for Litehouse
Below you can read two more poems of David Dephy
YOU CAN FEEL ME
You always can feel me.
Where heart is there is no distance.
Distance is measured by grief.
Grief spreads our dreams like wings.
Wings are our glances. Glances always
leave an imprint on water, as a breath
is our autograph on the body of life.
All is nourished by its reason.
September 24, 2020
GOD BLESS YOU WANDERERS
Can we sit down and talk about absurd
of conspiracy theories? Sit down next to me.
Time is a paradise for all wanderers.
Most of them are seers of visions,
they know exactly what they are doing.
Wanderers do not make mistakes.
Who wants us to believe this is all
an accident and purely down to
incompetence? If life is planned in any way,
even if there are influential people
trying to make the most out of a good crisis,
they are right, this is called conspiracy.
God bless you all goodhearted souls out there.
The time is near.
October 2, 2020