I was flattered when asked to guest-edit this issue of Ploughshares. I am proud to offer these stories. When selecting them, I was looking for range and adventurousness. I did not want stories that read or looked alike. These range from so-called mimetic to so-called meta. I do not like such labels and I hope to undermine their use by putting these fine works together.
I believe that writing should always represent itself, that it does not need help from anyone (certainly not me) for its reception and appreciation. I wanted stories that push language, that challenge the notion of storytelling, and that finally are beautiful in whatever way beauty is to be found. So I will not say much here, except that these are fine examples of whatever you find them to be.