Editor's NoteJordan Serviss
Welcome to the relaunch of Switchback. It is an exciting time for the journal and we are glad that you are here! Today’s featured pieces of prose and poetry mark the beginning of our transition from the traditional, issue centric format we’ve followed for 22 issues to publishing on a regular basis. We are starting modestly and are set to publish once a week while we expand towards our goal of releasing new material throughout the week.
Since its inception in 2004, Switchback has been a staple of USF’s MFA in Writing program, and has consistently published quality writing that we can all enjoy sharing with the world. As Editor-in-Chief, I want nothing more than to continue that tradition while also building upon the incredible foundation that those before me have put in place. In the near future we will have a revamped website (thanks in advance to Greg Poulos and Dan Morgan) that will represent the evolution of the journal and showcase our commitment to bringing Switchback into a new chapter with momentum.
Not only is the publishing structure of the journal taking a new approach, but we also have had a changing of the guard in our Faculty Advisor position. At this time I would like to thank Nina Schuyler for all her hard work over the years with helping make Switchback what it is today. She has been a constant resource for our editors to lean on for her expertise and advice during her time in this role; it is much appreciated!!!
With that said, it is my pleasure to announce that Beth Nguyen, Academic Director of the MFA program, has filled that void. Beth has been instrumental in helping me maintain smooth sailing throughout this entire process and encourages us to think about the ways in which we as Switchback find our footing in the larger literary landscape. Thank you!
It is important that I take the time now to give many thanks to everyone else that has helped make this all possible. I owe a lot to the genre editors who have taken ownership of their respective clan and aided me in facilitating the selection process: Kelsey Ahlmark (Nonfiction) Stan O’Neill (Poetry), Carrie Sheppard (Fiction), and Colter Ruland (Features). They certainly made my life easier in a lot of aspects! I also need to shout out Greg Poulos, the former Editor-In-Chief, for showing me the ropes and guiding me through the countless questions I’ve bombarded him with since he graduated. Then there is Micah Ballard, the money guy and Administrative Director of the MFA program, who I rely on a lot and is always there to handle anything that may arise! Thank you all!!
Getting things going for us are a couple of poems from Lana Austin, an essay from Geoff Watkinson, and a short story from Jonathan Danielson. All three of these writers bring their own unique style to the page and you will see that on display in their work here. We are thrilled to have each of them a part of this kick-off celebration!! I hope you enjoy and be sure to look for us each week!
Follow what we are up to:
Mothering a Member of an Endangered Species
On Living With Geese
On a Train Platform in Siberia
The Town’s Patron Saint Asks
Endurance in Yielding
For a Misplaced Hatchet
The Tomorrow of Slot Machines
Craigslist Missed Connections: theseus and the minotaur
Cheryl A. Ossola
Matthew Travieso Williams
Naming What Isn't
When in Mexico
Gonzalinho da Costa
symbol leaves no taste for the thing itself
Masters of Disguise
We Have Visitors Tonight
What Grows After a Forest Fire