This was created at a time when Paris was teetering on the brink of revolution and Northern Ireland civil war. It was subtitled "A Handbook for Revolution", in response to which the RUC raided the printers, failing to comprehend that a revolution might be a poetic rather than a Republican or Marxist one. Instead, Simmons had hoped to bring about a revolution in the way we view the world, beginning with our own corner of it. To see life, through poetry and prose, as strange, fleeting and miraculous as it really is, to aspire to free thought and see beyond "all the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls" as Orwell put it.  It has been edited by others, most notably by Frank Ormsby for twenty years. Anyone who takes over is essentially a caretaker of their vision. In its time, The HU published the likes of Louis MacNeice, Stevie Smith, Tony Harrison, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Paul Muldoon, Ciaran Carson, Medbh McGuckian, Tom Paulin, Carol Rumens, Iain Crichton Smith, Sean O'Brien and many others. It helped the North raise itself to become a heavyweight force in international writing.  

The contemporary Honest Ulsterman, relaunched by Verbal has updated and expanded the reach of the print edition through being on-line whilst maintaining its spirit and has featured many of the most prominent contemporary Irish writers including Eimear McBride, Colin Barrett, Sinead Morrissey, Sara Baume, Claire-Louise Bennett and many others. It has also been cognisant of the wider literary world and carried interviews with for example Elliott Prize winners Sarah Howe and Jacob Polley.  

The editor of the Honest Ulsterman is Gregory McCartney. McCartney has been the HU editor since 2015. He is also the Abridged editor and is the project coordinator of the HUMAN ARCHIVE as well being a freelance curator and exhibition-maker. 

Verbal hosts and provides support for Abridged and is not responsible for the content which may be aimed at an adult audience