In 2009, I published my first book with Lost Horse Press, graduated with a doctoral degree, moved to Indiana, and started teaching college writing. My life was on track. I was going places. I put my head down and worked. And worked. And worked. And had a baby. And worked. And worked. And had another baby. And worked. And worked. And worked. And—
When I looked up, I realized I had worked myself down a dead-end lane. There was no more road. I wrung my hands. I stomped my feet. I wailed. And then, finally, I looked up.
It really was a lovely end of road. So, I drew a circle. At one end, I drew trees. At the other, I drew a house of bricks. And over it all, I hung the sun and moon and a great, terrible dome of unanswering stars. Home.
Like women, self-publishing was once thought as poisonous as hemlock. But I built Hemlock House because I know the difference between poison and taboo. I built Hemlock House because I am no longer waiting for permission: to publish, to build my home, or to be happy.
In the spirit of Dickinson, I give you poems like flowers. In the spirit of Whitman, I give you poems like anthems. I write poems because I love to write poems. And I publish books for you, dear reader, because you love to read. So, come. Sing with me. This is Hemlock House. I open the door. Won’t you sit with me and read my story? Won’t you share yours with me? Oh, how I love a good story.
Available now from Hemlock House Press:
Instrumental (poems) by Emily Bobo
Tattle Tales (flash fiction) by Emily Bobo with illustrations by Amy Brier