When 19-year-old me decided to start a literary magazine, I can’t say that she had much of an idea of where she and it would be 20 years later. Then I was a college dropout coding in my boyfriend’s dorm room. I was about to start working at Hollywood Video again, certain that this internet boom would never end.

The internet bubble burst soon after. I’ve been a doctor of English for a decade. And we don’t have video stores anymore.

What we do still have is poetry. And fiction. And nonfiction. And art. And book reviews. Through the years we have had the pleasure of publishing so many amazing voices, been the first publication for numerous now much-more-famous authors, and had a long list of talented editors and guest editors who keep bringing you new work four times a year.

While I haven’t served on the masthead for five years, it’s a great joy and honor to get to come back and see what Luci Brown and her team continue to lovingly put together and to hang out with some familiar voices. All of the authors in this issue have been published previously in Stirring and represent authors from 2002 to 2019.

So please enjoy new work from old loves, and here’s to the next 20 years!

-Erin Elizabeth Smith, Founding Editor