NWR Issue 91

Somebody, Someday

Sitting down to approach this, I realised that there is only one thing harder to write than your first editorial - and that's your last. Of course, the reasons for this are different. That very first editorial was written under the anxiety of influence, in the context of the history of a magazine in which so many could claim vested interest. What would they make of it? In other words, what would they make of me? Being a writer as well as the editor of this magazine has proved at times a difficult balance, except in one very important aspect. As a writer one
learns very quickly that the only way to go to achieve any distance is to disregard what's passed with the very utmost regard. Once I learned to marry the pioneer spirit of my writing with my editing, to open myself up to the risk of those important failures creativity demands, I felt that I was truly on my way.

Of course, one can never please all of the people all of the time. And one must naturally suspect those who seem to do so. A friend to all is a friend to none. I have sought to provide a platform for the best of new Welsh writing now. Here and there, a few individuals have accused me of elitism, a charge I embrace with no small measure of
pride. But I hope that if readers cast their eyes over my contribution in years from now they will also alight upon the names of fine writers and critics who appeared in this magazine long before they were somebody, someday. In short, I have sought to create a magazine of aspiration that serves its readers, as well as its writers, and not the
equivalent of the parish newsletter. Welsh writing in English deserves nothing less than this. And, then, I have included a wide range of material that has appeared on
these pages for a reason that I hope will be self-evident: I rated it, I felt it deserved its place in the scheme of things - and I wanted to be the one to put it before an audience.

But just as no man is an island, neither is an editor - though it sometimes seems such, admittedly. I would like to thank the members of my board, present and past, who have offered me invaluable support, advice, praise - and, most importantly of all, warm critique. I would also like, of course, to thank the Welsh Books Council for their financial support of New Welsh Review, but also for their rigour and encouragement in all matters relating to this beautiful and undervalued business of the small literary periodical. Our sponsors Aberystwyth University, the University of Glamorgan and Cardiff University have been enormously generous, helpful and efficient, and I am indebted to them. New Welsh Review's designer Rebecca Ingleby of mopublications has led this magazine - and sometimes this editor - through change with her customary wisdom, panache and patience. Over the years, a number of individuals have provided invaluable insight, counsel and laughter when it was needed most, among them Sue Fisher, Alex Hobson, Francesca Rhydderch, Peter Finch, Jasmine Donahaye and Andrew Neilson. Lastly, I am grateful to all the writers, critics and photographers who have appeared in New Welsh Review, established and new. Their enthusiasm for the magazine, and to appear on its pages, has ensured no shortage of variety and quality, and has determined that this vital part of the Welsh literary eco-system has flourished, recession or not.

I depart New Welsh Review with something of a heavy heart, but I felt that it was crucial for me to leave the magazine while I still had a great appetite for it. Desire attained is not, as they say, desire. To those of you who have written to regret my passing, I greatly appreciate it. I will look back on my tenure at New Welsh Review as one of the most fulfilling periods - both personally and professionally - of my life to date. It has been a privilege, but it has also been a great pleasure, and one entailing such intermittent drama, minor crises and humour as would merit a roman à clef.

My successor in the role is Gwen Davies. Gwen is a person of great critical acuity, imagination and creative courage - all qualities that mark out exceptional editors. I have little doubt that she will lead the magazine on through the coming years with flair and assurance, and I would like to wish her the many riches that New Welsh Review has given me.



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