Editor's NoteJohn Gibbs
I’m not sure how to begin. Hello, I suppose; whether you have arrived here for the first time, have returned to see what we’re up to after reading—after liking—a past issue, or have stumbled upon us while searching the internet aether for our motion-picture namesake (featuring Dennis Quaid and Danny Glover), hello. It’s nice to have you with us.
Our latest issue (19) of Switchback is rambunctious. It’s also our first-ever issue to be born into this world themeless. We felt, at this juncture in our journal’s history, it was time to take a risk: to forego any prompt, motif, or preemptive design of any sort while culling submissions in lieu of allowing the issue’s primary concerns and questions space to homogenize organically. And—after the obligatory, editorial gestation period—it can now open its mouth and speak directly to you, reader, in whichever language you speak.
Six stories, nine poems, three essays, and one artist’s remarkable work make up the present issue. Add those numbers together and what do you get? Nineteen. Perhaps those lamenting the loss of an umbrella theme, and any cohesive comfort it can be said to provide, may take solace in the numerical coincidence, the fortune that somehow roped our planets in a line, the serendipitous deposit of gold struck by chance. Whoever said fate didn’t exist?
Of course this effort could not have been realized were it not for the collective work of our staff, who read wildly, discussed fanatically, and—in the end—selected fashionably the writing we are now proud to unveil and stand behind. A word of gratitude must also now be offered to our faculty advisor, Nina Schuyler, whose presence is felt like a good bassline in a jazz trio, making sure the rest of us don’t lose the beat and play to the tune of our own whimsy. Lastly, thank you to the MFA program at the University of San Francisco, for continually ensuring our energies are not for naught and for serving as the central hub to so many creative, talented, and motivated individuals.
Wherever you are reading this, we hope this issue finds you well. We hope you're ready to dive in and discover all we have dug up for you. We will gladly dig it all up again with you as readers ourselves. It’s now time for me to pad away, as noiselessly as possible, to my invisible post where I can sit, hushed by the impressive work found, contained, and celebrated here today. I’ll say again, in closing: I’m not sure how to begin. But, then again, I don’t have to.
Horoscope at the Discount Tire
What Became of Us All
Keys for Atomizing Your Life
The Green Umbrella