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Common House Magazine

Editor’s Note

Jillian Clasky

After a long hiatus, we’re finally back with the third issue of Common House! This issue features poems and stories that move between grounded physicality and imaginative abstraction, from the surreal dreamworld of Rachel Barton’s “Bridge Enough” to the mountainous “burn-scape” of Keelan Buck’s “There or Mine,” from the mythic transformation narrated in Ethan Vilu’s “I’m Flying!” to the “hulking deadness” of the shark we encounter in Vera Hadzic’s “Great White.” Several pieces muse on health, illness, and embodiment: Melissa Nicholls’s “Sunday at the Civic” insists on the “blunt fact” of personhood, “teeming and ungovernable,” in the face of an alienating medical system; and in Merron Douglas’s “Short-Term,” a woman’s memory deteriorates, her thoughts “slipp[ing] down a hill” but reappearing in fragments, in brief impressions. These pieces, in the words of Lauren K. Carlson’s “Return to Sender,” “rip open to get at / what’s gone,” and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did.


The beautiful illustration on this issue’s cover is by Vasundhara Srinivas, and JC Alfier contributed the collage on the landing page. More artwork by both of them is available inside the issue. We’re also thrilled to be publishing an exclusive interview with Ottawa poet (and uOttawa professor!) Jennifer Baker, who spoke to junior editor Grace Wildman about collaborative writing, experimental ecopoetics, the allowances of small-press publishing, and the role of poetry in climate activism, among other topics.


I am so grateful to our team of editors for the insight and creativity they’ve brought to this issue. Thanks also to Leyla Abdolell for leading Common House with such dedication last year (and for continuing to answer my incessant texts about missing passwords and other technicalities over the past few months), and to the rest of the founders, editors, and team members who have passed through Common House in some capacity. Many thanks, too, to the English department for their support, and to everyone who’s engaged in any way with our little magazine. Working on Common House has been one of the highlights of my time at uOttawa, and I can’t wait to see where this project goes next.

Jillian Clasky


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