The revival of the Burning Bush, as Burning Bush 2, under the editorship of Alan Jude Moore, is important. It provides a venue for new and emerging poets as well as continuing to reaffirm with on-line work throughout the world the viability of a global literary culture that does not create any sort of empire. Where the internet failed to become the great equalizer we had hoped for twenty years ago, it has become the great feelie for social media and information availability to the point of obfuscation and isolation if we’re not careful consumers and readers.
So, why bother contributing to the mess and publishing in an on-line literary journal like Burning Bush 2? Because it is a part of the emerging global literary culture — at least for those fortunate to have access to the internet as many throughout the globe still do not. Within this issue of Burning Bush 2 we feature works from writers throughout Ireland as well as Australia, India, Spain, Bermuda and the U.S. These include past and present winners of prestigious poetry awards as well as emerging writers.
Self-congratulation is rampant on the web, so it’s worth casting a brief eye over some of the “facts” of institutional and global investment in endeavours such as ours. Just a few years ago, Oxford Journals users at ten institutions visited just 61 journals a quarter of a million times, and viewed two-thirds of a million pages. Based on the study of this usage alone, UK universities and colleges spent £79.8m on licenses for e-journals as early as 2006/07 (out of a total serials expenditure of £112.7m). Four years ago, it was estimated that 86.5 per cent of titles in the arts, humanities and social sciences are now available online. Ten years ago, Ulrich’s listed over 34,500 online, active periodicals of all types. Active academic/scholarly e- journals weigh in at nearly 43,500. (Ten years ago.) Of course, none of this takes into account on-line poetry journals, blogs, writers’ sites, and so on that continue to shape the creative milieu and for which an accurate cataloguing algorithm has yet to be found.
There is a lot of money and a lot of traffic in on-line journals. Unfortunately, none of us see it…yet. That is, the grassroots publications like Burning Bush 2 that are slowly, surely and significantly altering the literary landscape are flying under the radar until the point at which we pacifists end up “accidentally” knocking over the ivory tower upon which the radar sits.
As guest editor, it was my great pleasure to work for Alan and enjoy his diligence and professionalism. In keeping with the open nature of the journal, works were forwarded blindly and correspondence took place between us regarding many of the acceptances. (Perhaps too much discussion or this would have been out a few weeks ago.) Now that we’re live, we hope that you enjoy the lives presented in the current issue and encourage you to continue to contribute to both the journal and its life.