Index of Haunted Houses

Mr. Adam Davis’s Poetry Book

Last year, Bishop’s English teacher Mr. Adam Davis’s book manuscript won the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry. Now, the very same book, entitled Index of Haunted Houses, is set to be released, available for purchase September of this year. 

Index of Haunted Houses has already received much acclaim on various platforms in addition to being a winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize. The international literature website Publishers Weekly included Index of Haunted Houses on its list of 15 New and Forthcoming Indie Press Gems for April, 2020. The digital library database Library Journal also included the title in their “Verifying / Collection Development” for poetry, stating that said list boasted “some of the best work coming in 2020 while effectively telling the story of poetry” on their website. Sarabande Books, the book’s publisher, described Index of Haunted Houses as “spooky and sad—a stunning debut” on Mr. Davis’s part.

In case readers are too eager to wait the five months until Index of Haunted Houses is available for purchase, an interactive hotline offers a preview of the book. When called, a robot voice greets the listener, saying, “Well, ain’t that just like you to be calling at an hour like this.” The listener is then given the option to divert the course of the call, depending on if they are a “returning guest” or “new here.” If they select the latter, a brief description of the book is given—“the collection is the perfect companion for the uncompanionable,” the voice says—before the listener is rerouted to the options menu; if the listener says they are a “returning guest,” they are taken here immediately, too. From the menu, the listener is given a cryptic list of numbers on the keypad to press depending on their current circumstance—“if you are a friend of Mary, Jane, or Pat, press one”; “if you have committed a crime, press six”; “if you want to hear a story, press four”—and, once a number is selected, they will be able to listen to excerpts of Index of Haunted Houses read aloud by Mr. Davis himself.

Index of Haunted Houses is described by Sarabande Books as “a book of ghost stories.” Mr. Davis himself explains that, as the poetry collection that would become Index of Haunted Houses grew, he noticed some commonalities undercutting many of the works. “A number of poems began to explore the idea of corporations or industries as language and the way our common lexicon leans heavily on this language to define our day-to-day existence,” he said. “In short, it’s a book about possession and being possessed and everything that those words suggest about our experience as modern Americans.”

Index of Haunted Houses is available for pre-order now and will be available for purchase September 1, 2020. If you want to preview selections of the book, call 619-329-5757 for the interactive hotline.

An artistic rendering of the official cover for Index of Haunted Houses, which is releasing early next school year. Art by Lucie Edwards (’21)