An essay arrived in the inbox from Kym Packer. It was a considered and thought provoking essay about writing terrorist characters in contemporary fiction. It referred to an author called David Goodwillie and this led me to an editorial Ern Malley moment. Yes, it was a childish response to the name Goodwillie, who I had to look up - and have now confirmed that he is a critically acclaimed and twice published author and a professional baseball player, though that is another story.
Being new in the role of editor has not only to really forced me to examine what 'works' but also to become a bit paranoid. And reading "Goodwillie" in this thoughtful essay fed that paranoia.
This fabled literary hoax occured in the 1940s, when poets James McAuley and Harold Stewart concocted nonsense poetry, constructed the identity of Ern Malley (poet, deceased) and Ethel Malley (sister, discoverer of poetry). They then submitted these poems, with a letter from Ethel, to the new Modernist magazine Angry Penguins, which was edited by Max Harris, who published them. The hoax was then exposed (after a fascinating series of to-and-fro'ing) - thus resulting, in a butterfly's wing flapping in Brazil kind of way, in my Goodwillie/Ern Malley moment.
Paranoia assuaged, Kym Packer's tightly written essay Conviction Cake Walk is published here.
We have also published a piece by Doctor Vanessa Kirkpatrick, who is, most beautifully, a professor of poetry. This piece, Narrowneck, had been languishing in our 'accepted' folder for some time and it is a relief to finally publish work that was accepted by the inaugural Islet editor, Anica Boulanger-Mashberg. It is published here.
The final piece - and one that is being published today is another poem that had dwelt for too long in the accepted folder. The poem, by Gemma Mahadeo, is called some small certainties and though its lines are (literally) numbered it tells many different stories. You can read it here.