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This interview is taken from PN Review 265, Volume 48 Number 5, May - June 2022.

Talking with Gerry Cambridge of The Dark Horse Rory Waterman
The Dark Horse is now in its twenty-seventh year, and you’ve been its sole main editor throughout. How have the challenges you face as an editor changed over the years? Have you always stuck to the same principles?

Various things have changed. In the early days a definite challenge was getting enough quality work, particularly prose, to put into the magazine. That’s far less the case now. Issues around representation and gender balance are much more prominent, rightly, now than they were in 1995 when I didn’t give much thought, for instance, as to what the balance between men and women in the magazine was. That changed relatively quickly though. I think the primary aim of editing a ‘little’ magazine is to hold out by one’s own lights for the best writing, prose and poetry, that one can find. With that in mind, I probably have stuck broadly to the same principles with which I started. I am, with complications, the same solitary reader I was in my Ayrshire caravan when I founded the journal and wanted to read poems and prose that affected me at a level deeper than the merely academic. I may be a more sophisticated reader now, but that general aim, of wanting to publish work that connects deeply on a human level, remains the same.

‘Deeper than the merely academic.’ That first word is loaded, isn’t it? Do you think that is – or was – too often forgotten or ignored by some editors? Did you conceive of The Dark Horse as a refuge from the increased academisation of poetry? ...


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