“I had finally arrived at the place / where nothing is written.” So Joshua Weiner, an old friend of The Manchester Review, writes in one of the terrific poems we are glad to publish in this overdue new issue.
At a reading in Manchester last month, Michael Hofmann and Igor Klikovac discussed the increasing sense that the work of a writer takes up less and less space and makes so little impact in a historical moment when huge, battering changes occupy our waking hours.
Opening up the submissions pile in our inbox was though, usually, a blessed relief from those storms, and what we found there — fiction which is sometimes uproarious, sometimes unsettling, all of it keenly gripping; poems which took our breath away or tilted the world a little further towards true, elegies and odes and narratives – began to take some space back, to restore perspective, a little coolness about the engulfing hysteria of ‘public affairs’, and a sense of the arts as purpose, places where a thought might grow.
We hope you’ll enjoy the work which Chad Campbell and I have been sifting through these past six months. We are delighted, too, to feature artwork from the talented visual artist Pedro Lacerda, whose images accompany each piece of writing. And do share these poems and stories, which will, we know, find appreciative readers not just now in the eye of the storm, where too often “nothing is written”, but after it passes too.
John McAuliffe and Chad Campbell