Introduction to Issue one

A Note from the Editors


It is winter. Snow has crusted over the windowsills, the stoop, the neighbor’s rooftop grape arbor. Clear plastic bags taped over the air conditioners breathe in and out. From the living room, they sound like a distant, crinkling sea.

We are sitting on the floor, the cat having somehow claimed the entire couch again. We wrap ourselves in blankets and circle our hands around mugs of tea because our landlord sets the heat, and we are always cold.

Books lie stacked and scattered around us. We are reading poems out loud, one of us barely stopping before the other starts a new verse. Over and over, we lose ourselves in the space of each poem, in the alternate universe of words. We are not ready to think about how we will someday miss the room that actually contains us.

These days we live across an ocean from each other, but we are still reading poems and stories together here at Empty House Press. Like any house, this first issue brims with both absence and presence, with the memories only a place can keep for us. We hope you’ll all stay here awhile with our contributors’ work, with these beautiful written spaces they have built.

— Cara Downey & Erin Calabria


Issue One image credits: all photographs featured in the issue’s table of contents were taken or provided by our contributors with the following exceptions: photo credit Matthew Erao for Stephanie Roger’s “Trust Fall”; photo credit Cara Downey for the issue cover and Mary Ann Honaker’s “Killing the Colony.”