Introduction

Spring '12 TOC

This is the seventh year of not enough night, and there's something about the number seven.  For one thing, the entire cellular structure of a human body replaces itself every seven years.  So with the conclusion of that cycle, there's a literally a rebirth.

When we launched not enough night seven years ago, the cultural climate was quite different from what it is today.  George W. Bush remained in office, the result of a second contested (but not contested enough) national election.  The country was still reeling from the events of September 11, 2001 which, besides the attendant shock and outrage, had provided license from all kinds of constituencies to threaten and undermine Constitutional rights in the name of Homeland Security.

I didn't foresee the emergence of Barack Obama.  I'm experienced enough and cynical enough to know that national salvation is not going to manifest from party politics.  But the fact that a person of color could occupy the White House was something I could not have foreseen in my lifetime.   I can only imagine the Faustian bargain one has to strike to participate in that level of national and international engagement.  And I did listen to Obama and his (completely wrongheaded, I felt) insistence throughout the campaign that his administration would make its stand against international terrorism in Afghanistan, a folly that continues to play itself out tragically.  Yet the idea of some kind of electoral alternative appealed to me and my support for him continues.

So throughout that slice of time, not enough night has appeared twice a year, and throughout our publication history, I've worked with Maureen Owen.  She started as Managing Editor then, sometime after I assumed the responsibilities of Chair of Writing & Poetics for the Kerouac School at the end of 2005, she became Editor-in-Chief.  She's marvelous to work with and has done a marvelous job.  Also, the contribution of Danielle Poitras, Naropa University's Multimedia Executive Editor, has been, and continues to be, invaluable.

Besides the aforementioned shifts in the culture, we have also endured a precarious time in the history of Naropa University.  John Cobb's reemergence as Interim President has been a profound blessing.   Those of us who have dedicated so much of our lives to Naropa and are committed to it as a vital cultural alternative have been relieved this past year that the university's Buddhist-inspired  mission has been reactivated and freshly envisioned.

In this issue, we take a step back with a sense of pride and accomplishment and present selections from the seven years of issues we have generated thus far.  The material is varied and wide-ranging.  One of our proudest accomplishments is that not only have we published fine work by renowned and established artists and writers, but have also featured what in many cases amounts to a first real publication.

At a time when the condition of the written word is very much in question, not enough night  offers  itself as one of the gatekeepers of that vital cultural resource.  It is created by and for people who are committed to language and ideas, who still believe that a set of words on a page, whether in electronic or printed form, comprises a kind of holy record.  So while we take a breath with this issue and look over our shoulders a bit, we're doing so with an eye toward the future.  Those of us who have made, and are making, not enough night, are eagerly anticipating another cycle in the life of the publication and of Naropa University.

Junior Burke
Executive Editor

 


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Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
© 2012 Naropa University