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Issue 36 • April 2020
House & Home
edited by Emma J. Gibbon

Introduction to Issue 36 • House & Home

Welcome to Issue 36 of Eye to the Telescope, House and Home. When I came up with the theme for this issue, some six months ago, I had no conception of how the idea of house and home, how the very relationship many of us have with home, would change so drastically before it came to release this issue. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that for many of us, staying at home is what we have to do right now. It’s a very frightening time, filled with uncertainty and worry and grief, but what I would like to think is that those empty streets we’re seeing in the news is a global act of love, a collective selfless act to protect our fellow humans.

And so, home. Home has meant many things to me over the years. It has been a place to fear and a place of refuge, a place of love and an absence of care, a place of insecurity and a place of stability, a physical place and a place in a human’s heart. It has spanned towns and cities and countries and imagination. It has lived in stories and poetry. Many of my favorite works feature houses: We Have Always Lived in the Castle, House of Leaves, “Two Houses” and I knew that there was a goldmine of ideas around House and Home in the broadest, widest sense that could produce wonders in the hands of speculative poets. I was not disappointed. Almost 200 poets submitted, and I was overwhelmed with poetry of the highest quality. It was incredibly difficult to choose. I could have filled at least two more issues. I am very proud of this issue and am extremely thankful to everyone for sending their very best work. Congratulations to those whose work is featured here.

I asked for poetry rich in emotion and depth, and this issue has it in spades. You’ll encounter houses and homes of all shapes and sizes, on earth, in space, in time and dimensions. You’ll meet ghosts and gods, astronauts and time travelers, and all kinds of beings in between. You’ll find despair and terror, loss and love and hope. My hope is that this issue will accompany you in this unprecedented time when we had to stay at home and the world outside went quiet and strange.

So, take care, all of you. I hope your home is a refuge and a balm. If you’re one of those people who work an essential job—thank you, from all of us—you’re heroes. Stay safe and be well, everyone. Stay home if you can and I’ll see you all at the end of this as we step outside blinking in a new world.

—Emma J. Gibbon