Editor's Note

John Gibbs

I have news. Today marks a turning point in our journal's relatively brief, yet provocative existence—a victory. Today Switchback turns one decade old, twenty issues young in other units of arbitrary measurement. In 2004, the Athens summer Olympics had just concluded, America was about to reelect its president, Facebook had not yet been made available to the general public, and somewhere atop the hill of the Lone Mountain campus this journal was spurred into being by the students, alums, and faculty members of the MFA in Writing program at the University of San Francisco.

It is with great pleasure that we get to share with you today the work included within our twentieth issue. An introductory note such as this should not be a summary, but an appetizer, crafted with the intention of tempting readers into sampling (i.e. clicking) the tray of flavorful entrées we have prepared for you. Among the tastes and tones presented here are stories that paint surreal landscapes, poems that twist you down a ladder of incomprehensibility only to haul you back up again into a world now slightly altered, and essays that speak of the atrocities and energies of the young. Realms of understanding are prodded at, and emotions are conjured and captured in the works we unveil now.

I admit, speaking in generalities is a consequence of the editor's note. Yet, despite a generality's potential indifferent nature there are truths entombed within it that remain encouraging to us as readers, writers, editors. One truth I've found over the course of shepherding now three issues into publication, is the Herculean effort required to do exactly that. So arduous and unforgiving is the task that it takes not just one or two individuals, but a group of some twenty-odd folks a handful of months to harvest, polish, and realize the thing we've brought before you here. Any hands less, and I'm not typing to you today, unable to mask my childlike enthusiasm for this issue. I thank the tireless staff, who make this journal a possibility.

However, there is one hand on deck that transcends all generalities; Nina Schuyler, our faculty advisor, has gone once again above and beyond herself in working closely with us to improvise, revise, and finalize this lineup of unforgettable voices. Finally, this issue marks my last as reigning Managing Editor, and it is my absolute privilege to be passing off the torch to a longtime and seasoned Switchback member, Greg Poulos. I'm excited for what he and his team of new and once-round-the-block staffers will come up with next.

Now this appetizer's finished, the waiter has reset the table, and you're ready for the main course. I don't just have news, I have good, delectable news.


John Gibbs
Managing Editor