It was at the club fair in February—before the word pandemic was being thrown around seriously, before any of us dreamt of a state shut-down, and before our lives were upturned by this novel virus—that I was asked if the Creative Writing Club was planning on restarting Dark Matter. I’m pretty sure the first thing I said to the administrative worker who asked was “What?” I had no idea what Dark Matter was, but, after having been told that it was a literary magazine that used to run on campus, and being asked by a few more staff before the club fair was out, I knew I would have to talk to John Wolff about it. It was there in his office on that day that we first started talking about the possibility of reviving this wonderful little collection of literature from students and staff, and within a week it was underway.
It seems the timing could not have been any better. We are experiencing one of the darker moments of history, a time of mass hysteria, people crowding supermarkets when they’re advised to stay home, and the panic buying of toilet paper that I cannot come close to understanding. We have people who are immuno-compromised continuing to work because they cannot afford to stay home, and no way of knowing when life as it once was will resume. It is a scary time, and it is exactly in times like these that we need art and literature. Charles Bukowski said it best in a quote attributed to him: “Without literature, life is hell.” And I tend to agree. Reading the submissions that our students and staff have worked so hard on since face-to-face classes have ended has been one of the best parts of this whole situation, and I can only hope that reading these pieces from our wonderful writers brings some joy and satisfaction to you in this apocalypse-like time.