I am excited to step forward as the new Editor-in-Chief of The Boiler. I was honored when Sebastian asked me if I would be interested in moving into this role. The Boiler has been in existence for a little over ten years. In that time, Sebastian has done amazing things to promote a unique and diverse community both within The Boiler’s digital spaces and the real world in the Dallas/Fort Worth literary community and beyond. And I was thrilled when Sebastian asked me to join The Boiler nine years ago as a poetry editor. In those nine years, I have seen how Sebastian humbly built around him a journal from which to celebrate and highlight some truly fantastic voices. Working with him as a poetry editor was nothing short of incredible.
I remember the first time Sebastian and I hung out in Yonkers, New York, over a decade ago. We were both students at Sarah Lawrence College and bonded over the fact that we had both arrived in New York via Texas. Eventually, both of us would return to Texas. Sebastian mentioned that establishing and working on The Boiler was a way of creating a lifeline after leaving New York and returning to Texas. I am so grateful that he also threw that lifeline out to me, having also returned to Texas after the bustling and connected, busy MFA life in New York.
Much like the seemingly magical synchronicities that existed in the creation and storylines between Sebastian and me, I have seen how each issue becomes its own creation in my time as a poetry editor. All the different writers send in work that somehow communicates and speaks to each other and compliments each other in ways we couldn’t, as editors, have predicted. It’s quite a thing to behold. As the new Editor-in-Chief, I hope I can continue to usher in powerful issues for you, the Reader, to enjoy.
However, I know that a large piece of making each stunning issue happen is in the team of people charged with bringing these issues to the public’s attention. I am so thankful that many of our previous editors have decided to stay on through this change of hands, and I look forward to working with them more in the future. Thank you to fiction editors Rebecca Bernard, Kimberly Garza, and Joseph Pfister for working with me and being valuable contributors to The Boiler’s past and present issues. Additionally, I’m excited to introduce two new poetry editors to the team: Todd Dillard and Minadora Macheret. Both Todd and Dora have been amazing to work with, and I feel honored to have their help in curating such splendid poetry choices. We also have a new website engineer, Joe Nasta. Thank you, Joe, for ensuring the fantastic work chosen has a beautiful space to shine. The Boiler continues to grow and I look forward to seeing how we grow with it as a team.
Sebastian wrote in his final Editor’s note as Editor-in-Chief that working on The Boiler was like throwing the biggest party; it has been similar for me the last nine years. Though my role was different before stepping in as the new Editor-in-Chief, The Boiler has been and will continue to be akin to a home where I feel among kindred spirits, safe and free to be myself, enjoy beautiful things, and converse with astonishing people and their work. As someone who hasn’t always felt the ability to be my true self in different settings during my life, The Boiler never failed to give me a digital domain where I see, yes, there is a community where I belong. I hope The Boiler is that for you, too, Reader, and I wish to continue and promote this community.
Lastly, thanks to everyone who supports, reads, submits work, and champions The Boiler. I hope you enjoy issue Thirty-Six as much as we enjoyed curating it.
Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick