A New Ulster
I deliberately chose to call this journal A New Ulster I have been involved in the cultural soul of Northern Ireland since 1993 and involved in the poetry world from 1988 when I designed the logo for Lapwing Publications. The name reflects the changes that I have witnessed since then and the aspirations for a better tomorrow. I wanted to create something that was inclusive, accepting and open to everyone, at the same time I wanted to pay homage to the work that had come before us.
One of the hardest roles for an editor is choosing what to use in an issue, what order to use them in and what format to use. Every poem, every piece of artwork that I receive is treated with proper care and respect. I am careful not to abuse that trust placed in me by the writers I work with. Not every piece makes it into the journal sometimes because of space sometimes because the writer has asked for it to be withdrawn and rarely a piece just does not sit well. A New Ulster is open to everyone to contribute towards while every ship needs a helmsman and a captain I see this as a group venture with myself at the helm.
It is with great pleasure that this issue opens up with a homage to Jimmy Simmons I would like to thank Brian Aldis and the other contributors without whom this issue would not be possible. I still see A New Ulster as a journal that will act as a reflection of the changing times in which we live in and grant you the reader a doorway into other worlds of the imagination. The work contained within this issue builds on the work and maintains the direction with this step into the mind's eye we can visit wistful vistas and turn the mundane into the surreal. A New Ulster is ultimately a publication aimed at reaching as many people as possible, sharing poetry, fiction and art with everyone no matter their creed or culture. The poets and artists whose works make up this issue span the global compass each uses their talent for catharsis, exploration or liberation..
I share a similar vision to James Simmons when he wrote in issue one of The Honest Ulsterman "I hope this magazine gets into the hands of school children and the so-called man in the street" he saw the youth of the time as the means of securing a better future for Ulster as editor he worked with the tools available to him and I plan to do the same thing with this journal. I can take advantage of digital distribution to get poetry out there. It is my hope that this magazine becomes a bastion, a rallying cry for future writers, thinkers and doers. Each avalanche begins with a single snow flake and this represents my contribution. We all represent islands in the sea of humanity, around us nations teeter and societies struggle with identity and change. Members of societies use art in one form or another as a release from their struggles, to express personal experiences, losses or to experiment with structure and form.