Anthology of short stories, Flash Fiction and Poetry from the 2008/9 Fish literary competitions, as selected by Colum McCann, Peter Fallon and Arthur Mathews, with new work by Colum McCann and Peter Fallon.
...I sing those who are published here – they have done a very fine job. Part of the beauty of writing is that the writer creates a world that has not existed before. We step into the new and the un-tried. And the reader then has the ability to venture into a time, a place, a geography that is not his or her own. We get new bodies and homes and minds to dwell in for a while. We are re-made. I love this process. It is the dignity of writing. It is what fills the lungs of literature. I know and recognise the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the work of every single story. It is difficult to create from dust, which is what writers do. It is an honour to have read your work....
...As I judged the competition I read hundreds of anonymous poems. Poems of all kinds, from an uncommon range, I'd hazard, of countries and cultures. I read each at least twice. Several of those on my 'longlist' I read a dozen or twenty times. The ones I've chosen display a healthy variety. They are credible versions of lives, lives lived and lives longed for. It's as if each of them found and channelled a force of trust that, in turn, made it trustworthy. All of these poems, in their differing ways, stand properly for themselves. Saluting their subjects and their readers, they stand up to their responsibilities. They stand, you might say, to attention....