An interview with Richard Holleman

Interview by Carol Smallwood

The first issue of voice of eve (September/October 2018), under the direction of Richard Holleman, is now online.  Voice of Eve provides a place for women to express themselves through poetry and art.

How did Voice of Eve evolve?

Voice of Eve started from my admiration of contemporary women poets such as Sarah J. Sloat and Jenna Le as well as past poets such as Jane Kenyon and Elizabeth Bishop. I always wanted to work for a literary magazine. About a month ago I was talking to a friend about my aspirations, and that friend challenged me to start a site on wix.com. I thought that night about it, about what really inspired me, and I realized all my life women had inspired me, both in and outside of poetry. The name of the project came from a t-shirt I once saw in college; the t-shirt had written on it “Eve chose knowledge.” So the name “Voice of Eve” quickly came to me.

I created the initial site in a few hours, then reached out to some poet friends for their best work so that I would have some content to work with and figure out the display. The site had a false start with one tool I was using for displaying the poems; it would cut off the text and didn’t support scrolling. Soon as I got the technical stuff figured out, I created ads on every social media I could think of, just trying to get a feel for what worked best. Meanwhile ,I tried to keep the site looking clean – so no ads and minimal editorial.

The biggest factor, however, in getting out the first issue was the poets, like yourself, who believed enough in Voice of Eve and its mission to submit their beautiful poems. All the poets who contributed should be very proud of the art they’ve created.

Is the Voice of Eve located physically in the U.S.?

Yes, I work as a sole proprietor for Voice of Eve in San Diego, California.

What is your literary background?

I have a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Oregon. I have published a poems in different magazines.

What features does Voice of Eve have?

Spotlight is the only feature Voice of Eve currently has outside of the Issuu reader for poetry. I would certainly like to add any features that writers and readers would like to see. Now that the site has some members, I’ve been considering a Forum feature. I’ve also been considering a Comments feature, so that poets can see feedback to their poems, but I would like to get the poets’ feelings on that first.

What is the Issuu reader?

The Issuu reader is a component/service provided by issuu.com. Basically, it takes a pdf file and converts it into a virtual magazine layout. It collates the pages and provides a look and feel that is similar to a print magazine. I believe it provides a nicer user experience than reading a simple pdf file, which is why I subscribed to Issuu so that I could provide Voice of Eve readers with that reader experience.

Do you foresee other types of writing besides poetry will appear on your site? There is a great demand for book reviews to appear online; is this a possibility for Voice of Eve?

Yes, I would certainly like to do flash fiction, as I enjoy the condensed format and it seems to be popular. I would also like to publish book reviews for much the same reasons.

Is there a plan to run ads on Voice of Eve in the future?

No, the site itself will never run ads. This is a decision I made early on. I want the most pleasant reading experience possible. The third-party Issuu reader service does run ads unfortunately unless I upgrade the subscription, which I hope to do in the near future.

Why would an artist want to submit her work to Voice of Eve?

There are lots of good online literary magazines out there (DMQ Review being one of my favorites). Voice of Eve, I believe, is special in the emphasis the site places on the poets. Poets’ names are displayed prominently on Issue and Home pages. In the magazine, in addition to the poems, two full pages are dedicated to each poet (one with a picture and the poet’s name, the other with an About section for the poet.) Also, for each poet, an ad is bought on social media to announce her publication. 

Who are some of your favorite poets? 

The work of Sarah J. Sloat and Jenna Le is everything I love about poetry. I’ve read through their poetry books several times over and always come back for more. Ada Limon is another contemporary poet who resonates strongly with me. As for poets of the past, I love St. Edna Vincent Millay, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Path, Anne Sexton, and Jane Kenyon. All of these poets have a sacred place in my heart. 

Thank you very much for creating this new site. May it soon prove an invaluable online asset; I’m sure there are many women poets who express this gratitude!

Thank you very much, Carol! I would like to also express my appreciation to all the poets who contribute to Voice of Eve. This site is all about you and the beauty that is you!

About the interviewer: Carol Smallwood’s most recent poetry collection is In the Measuring (Shanti Arts, 2018). A multi-Pushcart nominee, recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, she’s founded, supports humane societies. Find out more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_Smallwood

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