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Poems, essays, and prompts to sing a new world into being—Queer & BIPOC perspectives on poetry as an insurgent ritual for manifesting liberation and reclaiming power.
Written for poets, spellcasters, and social justice witches, Poetry as Spellcasting reveals the ways poetry and ritual can, together, move us toward justice and transformation. It asks: If ritualized violence upholds white supremacy, what ritualized acts of liberation can be activated to subvert and reclaim power?
In essays from a diverse group of contributing poets, organizers, and ritual artists, Poetry as Spellcasting helps readers explore, play, and deepen their creativity and intuition as integral tools for self- and communal healing and social change. Each section opens with a poem and includes prompts that invite the reader to engage more deeply with:
- Portals of Inheritance: Ancestral Teachings, Possible Futures opens portals to messages from ancestors and for survival
- Languages of Liberation, Disruption, and Magic explores how poetry and spellcasting allow us to enter into and harness language in active, heightened ways that both reflect reality and manifest alternatives.
- Invoking Radical Imagination leans into the incantatory possibilities of poetry as prayer and poetry as enchantment.
- Sacred Practices: Rituals of Repair and Revision explores writing as ritual, ritual as practice, and practice as doing, drawing connections between the creative practices of poetry and spellwork.
- Lighting Fires, Breaking Chains focuses on the explicitly magical and political nature of poetry as spellcasting.
- Elemental Ecologies, Spiritual Technologies wrestles with concepts of home, colonization, and belonging
Both poetry and occult studies have been historically dominated by white, cishet writers; here, Poetry as Spellcasting reclaims the centrality of queer and BIPOC voices in poetry, magic, and liberatory spellwork.
Tamiko Beyer is the author of Lambda Literary Award winner Last Days, We Come Elemental, and co-editor of Poetry As Spellcasting. A social justice communication strategist, she also publishes Starlight & Strategy, a monthly newsletter for shaping change.
Joan Naviyuk Kane is the author of several books and chapbooks of poetry and prose, most recently Dark Traffic, which was a finalist for the 2023 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and Ex Machina, forthcoming from the Cambridge-based micro-press Staircase Books.