Eleven years ago, my friend Michael Mills and I had a simple idea. Let’s start a journal of art and literature. And let’s offer it up freely using the internet. In 1999, the web was still new. Netscape still had a leading web browser, and no one could have predicted the astronomical rise to power of Facebook. Yet, we embraced this new frontier openly and in the summer of 2000, published the debut issue of Drunken Boat and established ourselves as one of the first purely online literary journals.
And I thank you for joining this adventure with us and for your support.
Over the years, Drunken Boat has grown from a two-person enterprise run out of a tiny studio in Brooklyn to a dedicated international staff of over thirty. We’ve published poets who would go on to win the Walt Whitman Award and digital artists appearing in the Whitney Biennial; released digitized audio tapes of Norman Mailer, exhibited unpublished letters and drafts of Pulitzer Prize winning poets William Meredith and Franz Wright and featured a folio on U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan; compiled the most comprehensive folio yet on the OULIPO; and published the very first stories and web art pieces of emerging writers and artists from around the world.
None of this would be possible without you.
Eleven years ago, if you had asked me would Drunken Boat last this long? Would you be publishing artists and writers from war-torn countries where free artistic expression is just short of treason? Will there ever be a place for the voices of marginalized indigenous cultures? I probably would have laughed nervously and told you we would be lucky to make a second issue. And eleven years later, Drunken Boat has accomplished all that and more.
I thank you for accompanying us on this journey, but now more than ever I need your help. Though our readership continues to grow as do the number of artists we publish, funding remains tight and our costs continue to mount. My dream is to keep Drunken Boat free for everyone, to never have membership or subscription fees, and I can only do that with your help.
Please consider giving just $20 today to help keep Drunken Boat afloat. I know times are tough and everyone is pinching their last pennies, but now more than ever the arts are in dire need of your support.
If you believe, as I do…
…in the importance of art and literature…
…in providing exposure to new and emerging talent…
…in giving a voice to the voiceless artists of the world…
Then please give as generously as you can today.
Ravi Shankar, Founding Editor
Or if you prefer to make your gift by check or money order, please use this address:
119 Main Street
Chester, CT 06412