Issue XX: Winter 2013 is a bit of a milestone for us here at The Puritan. Putting together our debut issue, way back in the halcyon days of late 2006, seemed a daunting enough challenge on its own.
Somehow, someway, amid the dozens of irreparable mistakes and innumerable bridges burnt down to a crisp, coupled with our crippling ignorance of publishing and its demands, The Puritan has managed to rattle on, all loose screws and heady enthusiasm. We had no idea what the misplaced ambitions of two upstart twenty-three-year old students might eventually produce. So it’s a great pleasure to add that double-X to the latest release—a bit mystifying, a bit stupefying—but extremely gratifying nonetheless.
The last year has also been an era of firsts for The Puritan—our inaugural literary contest, our first best-of Compendium, a smashing launch party, a record number of submissions, a radical change in issue design, and now this, The Town Crier, which has miraculously managed to outgrow its monstrous infancy as puritanmagazine.blogspot.com. We’ve always considered the progress at The P as a slow-burn, but judging from the past year of activity, the mercury seems to be on the rise. Thankfully, The Town Crier is staffed by some pretty hard-working, creative types, so we’re super excited to see it come to boil.
To get the ball rolling, we’ve asked the authors from Issue XX to submit some notes on their processes, inspirations, and hurdles, while composing the pieces you can now read back at www.puritan-magazine.com.
We’re proud, too, that our 20th issue has delivered on its promise: it is indeed epic. If you haven’t already checked it out, please do so, and know that the magazine’s standards have skyrocketed with its release. Issue XX is now the bar by which we’ll measure what comes next, and the notch on the belt we’ll want to surpass in forthcoming volumes.
It’s got three remarkably weird, remarkably visceral short stories (chosen from a sea of incredible work), seventeen poems, including two of quite extraordinary length and innovation, from authors young and aged, established and hungry, mixing the avant-garde and the conventionally lyrical with equal enthusiasm. And it boasts a rare thing in the non-fiction department: two reviews, each a counterpoint and completely different take, on a recent collection of poetry by one of Canada’s best young(ish) poets, and a long-form interview between one of our resident associate editors and Town Crier bloggers, E Martin Nolan, and that same reviewed poet and another up-coming and exciting new talent.
We like to think that over time, given the slow pace we’ve cultivated and the care with which we’ve imagined and re-imagined our journal, that The Puritan will one day come to represent the best in online publishing in this country. Nothing’s derailed our little engine so far. Today, we have just as much idea of what the next twenty issues (up to Issue XL: Winter 2018!) will look like as we did way back when with our first, but if the current edition is enough to go by, we’d say we’re excited (and yes, still kind of terrified) to find out.
Happy reading and thanks for stopping by.
The Puritan Editors