There are many good literary magazines out there, but Dublin's The Stinging Fly is a particularly admirable project: since its inception in 1998, it has strived not only to provide a much-needed platform for the short story, but dedicates itself to providing space for work by new and emergent writers, alongside poems and fiction by established writers as varied as Simon Armitage, Fiona Sampson and Bernard O'Donoghue.
It's also a handsomely produced publication, with a glossy cover showcasing the work of a new photographer each issue, and the magazine combines this professional look and feel with quality new fiction, poetry and reviews, as well as unique features such as 'First Passions', where a writer, publisher or literary agent describes their first encounters with, and their beginnings of love for, language and literature.
The current issue, then (pictured above), includes song lyrics by Paul Muldoon, exciting new poetry and short stories, and reviews of poetry by Thomas Kinsella, Dave Lordan, and my own review of Nick Laird's second collection, On Purpose, published earlier this year by Faber. Why not take a trip to the Stinging Fly's comprehensive website, then, ad consider buying an issue or taking out a subscription? After all, it's not often that a magazine from humble beginnings becomes such a successful and essential publication, but can also lay claim to a press that publishes a collection of short stories (Kevin Barry's There Are Little Kingdoms) that have won the revered Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.