Welcome to The Burning Bush 2.
As writers we often endeavour to create new things from old, we take from the past to move on from it and are caught between reflecting our times while at the same time trying to outpace them. In all of this we learn and draw from the work of those who preceded us. Writing here only a few days after the sad passing of the poet Pearse Hutchinson, it seems as if the ghost of another Irish poet, James Liddy, drifts in and out of the first issue of the Burning Bush 2. Some of our contributors knew Liddy well, some studied under him and, of course, he was one of the most notable contributors to the original Burning Bush magazine.
Pearse Hutchinson and James Liddy each left a huge mark on Irish poetry. Their contributions, including (but certainly not limited to), Hutchinson’s translations, Cyphers magazine, Liddy’s ocean spanning poetics and modernising influence and, of course, both their bodies of work are at the heart of what is good in Irish literature and have without a doubt eased the path for those who followed. If nothing else, they remind us that we are part of a long enduring community and not members of small fractured scenes.
It is this community that The Burning Bush 2 hopes to present and in our first issue we are happy to have new work from some of Ireland’s leading poets alongside work from several emerging poets. We also have a number of UK and North American writers, giving us a sort of Anglophone internationalism.
For those who might not know, the original Burning Bush was published from 1999 to 2004 in Galway, Ireland. It was edited by the poets Michael S. Begnal and Kevin Higgins (until 2000 when Higgins left and Begnal became the sole editor). There’s a piece here on Mike’s blog which gives the background and history of the original magazine. I’m pleased to report that, fittingly, Kevin and Mike have both contributed to The Burning Bush 2. They are among a number of past contributors to the Burning Bush included in these virtual pages.
Finally, my sincere thanks to all the contributors for their work; that so many poets contributed work of quality to a fledgling online publication says more about them and their generosity than it does about us. Enjoy it.
Alan Jude Moore