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.