Be our guest

"We are so curiously alone, but it's important that we keep making signals through the glass."  John Updike

In April 2017, I founded Guesthouse as I stood on the edge of a precipice. I was approaching the end of my MFA in poetry at the University of Iowa, and the future was a daunting place. The political climate was a china shop and our leader the proverbial bull, sustainable jobs in academia were looking dimmer and dimmer, and I wanted a platform to feature high-caliber art in a community-based, interdisciplinary, and malleable environment.

With a team of writers and artists from Iowa City, I launched Guesthouse to celebrate the protean and transient nature of the magazine format that allows us to move and expand at the speed of time and stake a claim in contemporary art, literature, journalism, and more. Jordan Homer Walker quickly joined me as poetry and managing editor, and since then, we have reveled in creating opportunities for writers to see and be seen by others.

The goal of Guesthouse and its constituents is to diversify the literary journal scene by including a foreword with each issue that casts the included poems, essays, stories, and photographs in a critical light. At the onset, I saw a gap in the field; unless writers have recently published a popular book, they tend not to have many opportunities to read thoughtful, contextualized analyses of their work. I want Guesthouse to interrupt this standard, and in turn, foster productive conversations and communities. So come on in and make yourself comfortable. 

Jane Huffman, editor-in-chief