Welcome to Root Quarterly.
RQ is one part magazine, one part collaborative art project, and one part social experiment.
We’ll offer you insightful and provocative essays, profiles of local makers and artists, cultural criticism, fiction, poetry, and carefully-curated recommendations for getting the most out of life in Philadelphia—including a cocktail or dinner recipe here and there—all in a beautifully designed and printed magazine you can hold in your hands and settle down with on a Sunday afternoon, or argue over at Thursday night happy hour.
Our volunteer staff have one big question on our minds as we announce to the world that we’re embarking on this project: If we build it, will you come?
It’s a big question. Are there enough of us, across a broad spectrum of ages and backgrounds, who want to thoughtfully disengage from the 24-hour news cycle and from the performance and outrage culture of social media? Enough of us who love this city and want to celebrate its artists, makers, writers, and thinkers without snark and clickbait?
Are there enough of us who are willing to subscribe to a quarterly journal that hopes to give you a chance to do both?
That’s where the social experiment comes in. That’s where you come in: We hope you’ll join us as we unplug, tune in, and get real. We hope you’ll be excited about paper, ink, and beautiful design, and we hope you’ll come out to our live events and be part of a burgeoning community.
Over the past year, we’ve held RQ preview parties in private homes, talking about our plans and hearing directly from people about what they’re yearning for, what’s on their mind, and what worries them. Lack of real connection and community was at the top of that list, as was relentlessly partisan politics, and we hope that what we’ve put together for you will be the start of a remedy.
Our first issue, out in May, features some wonderful contributors. They include celebrated writer Sarah Rose Etter on sculptor Darla Jackson, criticism and poetry selections by award-winning poet Joshua Mehigan, playful erotica by Neely B., food and neighborhood picks by Diana Lu, and much, much more.
If you’d like to support independent media, civil discourse about difficult ideas, talented local makers and artists—and if you’d like to jump off the hamster wheel of online insanity—we hope you’ll subscribe today.
And check our May 11 launch party photos and videos. Over 100 people came out to celebrate the mad idea that people are better in person, and words are better in print. Join us next time!
Print is dead. Long live print.
Heather Shayne Blakeslee
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief