Editor's NoteGreg Poulos
Rabbit rabbit rabbit.
It's April 1, folks—and while every other corner of the internet is going bananas, today we here at Switchback are playing our cards straight. It might be our twenty-first issue, but sober-minded dedication is the name of the game here. No crazy gimmicks. No zany jokes. Just some amazing new writing that we're confident you'll love.
One big theme of this issue seems to be the arid parts of the word: we take a drive through the Mojave, wander through the chaparral, witness a battle between Arizona arthropods. We also happen to visit a museum of grotesque medical oddities. We stop by Ground Zero, by way of the cosmetics aisle at Bloomingdale's. And these things are just the tip of the iceberg.
One curiosity that I feel deserves special mention: we were lucky enough to receive two very different submissions, "Note to My Seventh Grade Self" and "Letter to a Younger Me", that both happened to adopt a similar conceit. They are both are told in the second-person, their narrators relating advice to younger versions of themselves. It's fascinating to see where each of these two stories took that idea.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to announce the winners of this issues editors' prizes.
The second runner-up prize goes to Adrian Arias, for his bilingual poem, "Breve diccionario del cuerpo / Brief Body Dictionary". Our poetry editor, Virginia Barrett, summed it up way better than I ever could: "Arias exquisitely turns the idea of dictionary entries into an exploration of the human body in all its longing and splendor … each line unfolds onto the next, as a kind of revelation of the flesh and of the emotions."
Our first runner-up is Kori Morgan's "No Sugar Tonight", an elegant story about a dysfunctional band on the verge of hitting it big. It's a poignant study of ambition, relationships, and politics, all set against the grisly backdrop of the 1970 Kent State protests.
And the grand prize goes to Robyn Goodwin for her nonfiction piece, "The Boy Under Construction". Our editors unanimously loved this heartbreaking, ruminative essay. I'm not sure what else to say about it other than: Please, go read it, now.
I'll quit my yammering. But before I go, I need to thank all the amazing Switchback staffers who've worked tirelessly to get this issue out to you. Thanks especially to Nina Schuyler, our faculty advisor, and Switchback's three extraordinary genre editors, Virginia Barrett (poetry), Robert O'Connell (nonfiction), and Stefani Wright (fiction).
Thanks for clicking around our little corner of the internet. I remain, dear reader, your most humble and obedient servant,
The Boy Under Construction
Scorpion vs. Black Widow
Breve diccionario del cuerpo/Brief Body Dictionary
Monkey King Gets Introspective for a Minute
Darrell Dela Cruz
Man of Coal
Joshua Hjalmer Lind
Prayer at the Mütter Museum with a Woman You Loved