by Sam Thayn
“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not.”
“Thou also makest the night, Maker Omnipotent.”
—Milton, Paradise Lost
In the following pages, you will read about a couple that saves for the trip of a lifetime, a world where things have stopped decomposing, a woman prepared for the end of the world on a bright, sunny day. You’ll read a letter to Ginsberg’s ghost, find love in wontons, discover what Hamlet does when he isn’t on stage. And you’ll read the true stories of a brain on a highway, a woman borne by a man, of dressing meticulously for Mass.
This book, with the notable exception of Brian Doyle, was entirely written, edited, designed, photographed, and painted by BYU students. Some worried this might date the book, or localize it, or make it forgettable. But here we have something that captures the way art blooms like a rose in the desert, the way it stays up howling in the dark. I never worried.
This book was made in the nighttime, in the basement of the humanities building, by a large and talented staff. We read hundreds of submissions and picked the ones that made us worry, dream, wonder. We stayed late eating pizza, discussing line breaks, and removing commas. We stayed late making something you could put on your bookshelf and admire. This should be read at night, when the sun is knocked out and even the moon is off hiding. When you can’t sleep. When you don’t want to sleep. Read it cover to cover, or start with the author you know. Start with the poetry, the art, the back of the book. Read it and put it on your bookshelf, some rich darkness amidst the light.
When I was a freshman writer, I wanted only to be published in Inscape. I believed it was the best creative writing at BYU. And these many years later, I still believe. Shoot out the lights, find a dark corner, and off you go.
—AT, January 25, 2016