Guest editors can charge magazines with an energy and relevance they had hitherto only potentially or theoretically possessed - and this could not be better illustrated than with this latest issue of The Stinging Fly, edited by Dave Lordan. The Stinging Fly has established a reputation as the "go-to" place for those in Ireland looking for new and exciting writing, but when it comes to poetry it has fallen a little short of doing something truly remarkable or breaking the mould. With this issue, Lordan, a singular presence in Ireland's contemporary poetry scene, has sought to rectify this - while his notes on its editing articulate refreshing views on writing, editing and criticism.
I'm happy he has chosen to include my poem 'The Executioner's Confession' in his issue. Also included is work by several poets who for me have stood out over the last few years, among them Kimberly Campanello, Kit Fryatt, Dylan Harris, Ronan Murphy and Anamaría Crowe Serrano. There are also some names unknown to me, whose work I look forward to getting to know.
You can buy a copy of issue 22 (vol 2), which also includes critical prose and fiction, as well as back issues or a subscription, directly from the magazine's website.
The challenge for Declan Meade, publisher and managing editor of The Stinging Fly, is to sustain the level of vitality imbued into his magazine by Lordan's guest editorship.