by Eric Stiefel
Adam O. Davis’s Index of Haunted Houses (Sarabande Books, 2020) explores the spaces that contemporary America has left behind, from abandoned homes from the 18th century to dilapidated motels and empty trainyards. While Adam O. Davis’s debut, hybrid collection of original photography and poetry, Index of Haunted Houses focuses on ghosts and the places where they linger, its spectral figures never appear overtly. Davis leaves their presence to be sensed by readers as they explore the spaces of the poems in this book, which is often filled with white space and possibility.
Most of the photographs depict empty spaces or dilapidated buildings, empty trainyards, crumbling motels, an empty road and an open field with a sign that reads “PRIMITIVE ROAD, CAUTION, USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.” The eerie tone of these black-and-white photographs resonates with the poems in the collection—something in America has been lost, though that something hasn’t truly left us.Read More