From the Editor’s Desk

The seventh issue of Mistake House Magazine marks a new direction for the publication, both in content and process. As many classrooms across the country and world continue to operate via remote learning, this issue of Mistake House is the first to be produced completely virtually. This past year has also seen the extension of Mistake Houses creative reach into the medium of photography, furthering the intersection between the literary and visual arts established in our Soap Bubble Set. Still, despite these differences, Mistake House Magazine remains firm in its commitment to provide creative and intellectual refreshment in the form of poetry, fiction, and visual art.

In each issue, our Soap Bubble Set features a practicing visual artist and writer alongside the magazine’s selection of student poetry, fiction and photography. This year’s Soap Bubble Set highlights the artistry of Afro-Latina Poet Yesenia Montilla and sculptural artist Sheila Pepe, both of whose work argues for urgency in investigating and challenging established notions of identity in the contemporary world. Montilla, in her poetry and interview, speaks unashamedly of the BIPOC experience in the United States. Through sculpture and exploration of space, Sheila Pepe’s art demonstrates how observation and empathy are difficult but necessary steps to dismantling the constructions of the patriarchy. As Pepe says in her interview, when working against oppressive structures, “there’s never any room for fatigue.”

This year for the first time, Mistake House Magazine awarded Editor’s Prizes in both poetry and fiction, recognizing the most outstanding student work we received. Meesha Williams’ “Fallen is the word for snow,” in its meaningful and precise engagement with form, is an example of how, as the late American poet William Carlos Williams puts it, a successful poem works like “a little machine made out of words.” The winner for Fiction, Shreyonti Chakraborty’s “The Royal Dollhouse,” reveals how home and a sense of purpose can be found amidst the unfamiliar and unexpected.

The additional poetry, fiction, and photography speaks empathetically to Mistake House’s themes of place and environment. Chase Garner’s three poems “Accumulation,” “Gaia,” and “Born by less forgiving gods,” reveal the need to remain hopeful in the face of environmental concerns.  Kayla Lutes’ “New Dwellings” and Mackayla Rockwell’s “On Becoming a Woman in Youngstown, Ohio” draw attention to how location and home play can be instrumental to personal growth and transformation. Furthering the issue’s emphasis on locality is Sarah Geis’ photographic series “The Shapes and Colors of San Francisco,” which captures the ordinary and odd through the exploration of the San Francisco cityscape.

As Mistake House Magazine continues to develop and expand its creative offerings, we hope you feel the magazine has stayed true to its mission, continuing to serve our readership and the broader literary community as a source of rejuvenation and insight.

We invite you to take a moment to delve into the compelling, honest, and relevant work of Mistake House Magazine Issue 7!

Slater Smith, Editor-in-Chief