Our new tagline, “a space between ordinary and odd,” certainly reflects these ever-changing times as much as it refers to Mistake House Magazine’s equal dedication to individual voice and inventive play. During an unprecedented pandemic, while all are either staying at home or supporting their communities in essential roles, it is important to be kind and seek solace. We hope Issue 6 of Mistake House can provide rejuvenation in the overwhelming demands of the current situation.
In each issue, in our Soap Bubble Set, we feature a practicing visual artist and writer alongside the poetry and fiction written by students. This professional section of the magazine is named after an assemblage by modernist sculptor and filmmaker Joseph Cornell. Our Soap Bubble Set professionals for Issue 6, Harriet and Rob Fraser, insist that the local and global are always connected. Through poetry, photography, and art installation situated in their local landscape, the two Cumbria-based creatives explore global questions about environment and place. Their current project, Sense of Here, brings together disparate viewpoints about the land. Travel restrictions and limited knowledge of the future prompt a collective reconciliation between senses of “here” and “there” amid environmental and human crises.
In dialogue with our Soap Bubble Set, the student fiction and poetry of Issue 6 also undertake ‘place’—imagined and real, social and environmental. In Anthony Nguyen’s short story, “Love, Bao,” readers are given a love letter to the mundane, interrupted by loss, a toll from the Vietnam War. Deeply rooted in place, it speaks to community, family, home, and migration. Nguyen imagines, through the character of Bao, a spirituality that arises from being in nature. Similarly, Emma Dixon and Lexi Clidienst envision in their poetry the idiosyncratic self through natural and elemental imagery.
The student work in this year’s issue also responds to human need and situation. Angela Agnew’s story, “Dream 2,” imagines a world—not unlike our own in its unequally distributed resources—in which sight is fragmented without the aid of a ‘lens.’ The Cubist-like shifts in perspective throughout the story mirror a kaleidoscopic way of seeing, experienced disproportionately by the poor. Readers will find in the poetry of Margaret Preigh and Brittany Morgan, Ethan Capp’s “Rutabaga,” Jose Lucero’s “South Victoria Avenue and Telegraph Road,” and Gregory Caso’s “For a Turkey Sandwich” visually associative and compassionate portrayals of hunger and inequity.
We invite you to take some time with your feet up to peruse the compelling, playful, and relevant work of Mistake House Magazine Issue 6!
Samantha Frank, Editor in Chief