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Spells: 21st Century Occult Poetry

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Spells brings together thirty-six contemporary voices exploring the territory where justice, selfhood and the imagination meet the transformative power of the occult. Reflecting recent struggles around #MeToo, and the growing interest in witchcraft and astrology, these poems unmake the world around them so that it might be remade anew. Spells are poems; poetry is spelling. Spells brings together thirty-six contemporary voices exploring the territory where justice, selfhood and the imagination meet the transformative power of the occult. Reflecting recent struggles around #MeToo, and the growing interest in witchcraft and astrology, these poems unmake the world around them so that it might be remade anew. Spells are poems; poetry is spelling. Spell-poems take us into a place where the right words can influence the universe. Edited by Sarah Shin and Rebecca Tamás, with an introduction by So Mayer, Spells other contributors include Rachael Allen, Nuar Alsadir, Khairani Barokka, Emily Berry, A.K. Blakemore, Jen Calleja, Vahni Capildeo, Kayo Chingonyi, Elinor Cleghorn, Nia Davies, Kate Duckney, Livia Franchini, Will Harris, Caspar Heinemann, Rebecca May Johnson, Amy Key, Daisy Lafarge, Francesca Lisette, Canisia Lubrin, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Lucy Mercer, Hoa Nguyen, Rebecca Perry, Nat Raha, Nisha Ramayya, Sophie Robinson, Erica Scourti, Dolly Turing, and Jane Yeh.


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Spells brings together thirty-six contemporary voices exploring the territory where justice, selfhood and the imagination meet the transformative power of the occult. Reflecting recent struggles around #MeToo, and the growing interest in witchcraft and astrology, these poems unmake the world around them so that it might be remade anew. Spells are poems; poetry is spelling. Spells brings together thirty-six contemporary voices exploring the territory where justice, selfhood and the imagination meet the transformative power of the occult. Reflecting recent struggles around #MeToo, and the growing interest in witchcraft and astrology, these poems unmake the world around them so that it might be remade anew. Spells are poems; poetry is spelling. Spell-poems take us into a place where the right words can influence the universe. Edited by Sarah Shin and Rebecca Tamás, with an introduction by So Mayer, Spells other contributors include Rachael Allen, Nuar Alsadir, Khairani Barokka, Emily Berry, A.K. Blakemore, Jen Calleja, Vahni Capildeo, Kayo Chingonyi, Elinor Cleghorn, Nia Davies, Kate Duckney, Livia Franchini, Will Harris, Caspar Heinemann, Rebecca May Johnson, Amy Key, Daisy Lafarge, Francesca Lisette, Canisia Lubrin, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Lucy Mercer, Hoa Nguyen, Rebecca Perry, Nat Raha, Nisha Ramayya, Sophie Robinson, Erica Scourti, Dolly Turing, and Jane Yeh.

30 review for Spells: 21st Century Occult Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    Luna

    An interesting collection with a few standout new voices. I was disappointed that many poems did not live up to the premise or seem to have anything to do with the occult. Many were also glib or nonsensical. However, there were a few 5* gems: Banshee by Rachael Allen Gift by Jen Calleja My narrative costume is a witch without reputation by Amy Key These poems were definitely worth the read, and I will keep an eye out for future works by these three poets.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Loranne Davelaar

    Ik kwam dit boek tegen in een leuke erg feministische boekhandel en kocht het omdat ik het nergens anders dan in een leuke erg feministische boekhandel tegen had kunnen komen. De heksendichtheid was me iets te laag voor een boek dat 'Spells' heet maar er zaten een paar heel goede gedichten tussen. Ik kwam dit boek tegen in een leuke erg feministische boekhandel en kocht het omdat ik het nergens anders dan in een leuke erg feministische boekhandel tegen had kunnen komen. De heksendichtheid was me iets te laag voor een boek dat 'Spells' heet maar er zaten een paar heel goede gedichten tussen.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Juraj Holub

    Meh. I like occult. I like poetry. I like (post)modernism. But outside of 3-4 poems, this collection missed a mark for me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eli

    I loved the introduction to this about the power of words. I also loved the cover art. I like poetry and the occult, so I should have been the target audience for Spells. Unfortunately, for me personally, the poems missed the mark for the most part. Most felt contrived, not like a spell you'd scoop from your unconscious mind. It also felt too self-referential. Still looking forward to seeing more from this indy publisher. I loved the introduction to this about the power of words. I also loved the cover art. I like poetry and the occult, so I should have been the target audience for Spells. Unfortunately, for me personally, the poems missed the mark for the most part. Most felt contrived, not like a spell you'd scoop from your unconscious mind. It also felt too self-referential. Still looking forward to seeing more from this indy publisher.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    A fantastic collection exploring the concept of literature as magic; of the spoken or printed word having the ability to conjure.

  6. 4 out of 5

    rae

    To be honest, I am not entirely sure how I feel about this collection. On one hand, I think its beautiful: each poet had their own, unique and compelling narrative voice which often times left me in awe. The forward to this collection was by far one of the most beautiful introductions I have ever read, So Mayer's way with words is honestly spellbinding. However, once it got to the midway point of this collection, I honestly hadn't a clue what was going on. Though beautifully written, most of t To be honest, I am not entirely sure how I feel about this collection. On one hand, I think its beautiful: each poet had their own, unique and compelling narrative voice which often times left me in awe. The forward to this collection was by far one of the most beautiful introductions I have ever read, So Mayer's way with words is honestly spellbinding. However, once it got to the midway point of this collection, I honestly hadn't a clue what was going on. Though beautifully written, most of the poems in this book verged on incomprehensible, relaying on repetition of abstract images to create a sense of otherworldly or spell like nature. This collection honestly made me feel as though I am simply not smart enough to understand it: and maybe I'm not. Like I said, each poem was beautifully written with its own unique voice, but in my case, the meaning of those voices seem to have been lost in translation.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Everett

    I first bought this poetry collection as a present for my friend’s birthday a few years ago and low-key fell in love with it before giving it to her. Couldn’t forget about it over the years and finalllllly treated myself to a copy. It’s the kind of collection to make you wanna roll around in the dirt and really think about your position in your own life (but in a good, empowering way) Not every piece is to my liking but I’m obsessed with a few of them and it’s just such a great collection, no matt I first bought this poetry collection as a present for my friend’s birthday a few years ago and low-key fell in love with it before giving it to her. Couldn’t forget about it over the years and finalllllly treated myself to a copy. It’s the kind of collection to make you wanna roll around in the dirt and really think about your position in your own life (but in a good, empowering way) Not every piece is to my liking but I’m obsessed with a few of them and it’s just such a great collection, no matter your poetry style or tastes there’s something for you in here (for me personally it’s Ursula K. Le Guin and Sophie Robinson OOOOF)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Valley

    Love love love some of these, others felt a bit too opaque for me. It served as a reminder to cherish the voices of Emily Berry, CA Conrad, & Bhanu Kapil, and time consider some favorite poets in the context of the occult/spiritual/unexplained.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Frynne

    It has some of the best poems I've ever read and at the same time some of the most incomprehensible ever. Most flew right past me, but some were everything. Maybe I'm not supposed to get it. Maybe it's just read read read and reread and it will get you somewhere in the end. It has some of the best poems I've ever read and at the same time some of the most incomprehensible ever. Most flew right past me, but some were everything. Maybe I'm not supposed to get it. Maybe it's just read read read and reread and it will get you somewhere in the end.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tea Nicolae

    <3 a wonderful collection! i adored so many poems and was incredibly touched by the assertion that is found in the anthology's beginning, which is that "spells are poems, poetry is spelling" :) <3 a wonderful collection! i adored so many poems and was incredibly touched by the assertion that is found in the anthology's beginning, which is that "spells are poems, poetry is spelling" :)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Silvia Paizan

    This book has a beautiful cover and a powerful introduction, but most of the poems didn't quite say anything to me. This book has a beautiful cover and a powerful introduction, but most of the poems didn't quite say anything to me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shauna Caffrey

    A gorgeous collection of though and emotion provoking poetry, exploring the nature of magic and evocation.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Newbury

    On first reading the pieces from Kaveh Akbar, Rachael Allen, A. K. Blakemore and Jen Calleja were the stand outs

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bridget Latter

    Wonderfully peculiar selection

  15. 4 out of 5

    seren✨ starrybooker

    My local Waterstones has a really good poetry section and it’s ruining me (and by me, I mean my bank account)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heather Johnston

  17. 5 out of 5

    James

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christie

  19. 5 out of 5

    M

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Leigh

  22. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

  25. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  26. 4 out of 5

    Catalina Eni

  27. 5 out of 5

    Juliana

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bryony Rose

  29. 4 out of 5

    Angela Natividad

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

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