Happy Yule, Bright Solstice!

Happy Yule, everybody! Thanks for following along with my Advent Calendar of Witches. In the spirit of light and gratitude for the abundances of even this hard year, I want to offer a list of witch and witch-adjacent writers and artists who have inspired me.

Taylor Ross is an extraordinary multi-media artist. Some of my favorite works by her include fabric pieces she constructed with sustainably harvested plant fibers. Her photographs are also gorgeous — that’s her ice selfie on the cover of The Witch of Eye.

Maya Zeller’s Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts is such an inspiration when it comes to thinking about the intersection of magic and ecology.

Sun Yung Shin taught me that glamour, grammar, and grimoire all share the same root. And her obsession with Baba Yaga is contagious.

Rivka Galchen’s Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch, an account of Katharina Keppler is coming this year!

Kate Lebo is my favorite kitchen witch. I’m so excited for The Book of Difficult Fruit to come out in 2021.

Elissa Washuta’s White Magic is coming out soon too! Her essay “White Witchery” is essential reading.

Kenji Liu’s Monsters I Have Been is great meditation on monstrosity. He also curated a feature of spells against SCOTUS and POTUS for Unmargin that is a powerful reminder of how everything is political, especially attempts to harness and wield power.

Annah Browning’s Witch Doctrine is a gorgeous collection.

Kathy Fagan’s The Charm and Nicole Cooley’s The Afflicted Girls are classics of the genre.

Taisia Kitaiskaia’s Ask Baba Yaga is my favorite advice column ever. I just ordered volume two Ask Baba Yaga: Poetic Remedies for Troubled Times.

Sharma Shields’s novels of mythic mothers and haunting landscapes are so great. The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac and The Cassandra both bring that witchy energy.

Hyejung Kook has taught me so much about Anglo-Saxon charms and also shared a bit about Korean shamanism with me as well. Her poems are gorgeous. Here’s one I love. And here’s another.

CA Conrad’s somatic exercises changed the way I think, write, and live. I suggest starting with Ecodeviance (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness.

Jennifer Givhan’s whole body of work, which engages with Brujeria traditions and an ecofeminist approaches to science in various ways, but especially Protection Spell.

Jenny Molberg’s voyage into the demagorgon’s underworld is as witchy as it gets, if you define witch as “a woman with power and agency.” Refusal.

Kiki Petrosino’s Witch Wife!

Becca Klaver’s Ready for the World is such a treat.

Faylita Hicks HoodWitch can’t be missed.

I love Sabrina Orah Mark’s “Happily” column on fairy tales at The Paris Review and Kate Bernheimer’s Horse, Flower, Bird too, for how they reimagine the mythic witch and her forest.

I’m not over Rebecca Tamas’s Witch yet. I don’t imagine I ever will be.

The poet and translator, Lawrence Schimel, has introduced me to so many poets writing about plantlore in gorgeous ways. His translation of Elsa Cross’s Bomarzo is a fantastic piece of witch-adjacent work.

Irem Yacizi is an embroidery artist. Her tiny and meticulous cross-stitched dreams and imaginings are so gorgeous. Whenever I write I ask myself how I can make my words feel like her images. I do not succeed in this endeavor.

Gala Mukomolova’s Without Protection is an amazing collection.

I can’t stop thinking about Selah Saterstrom’s Ideal Suggestions: Essays in Divinatory Poetics.

There’s so many more! Send me your suggestions and I’ll keep updating.

Published by Kathryn Nuernberger

Kathryn Nuernberger's latest books are THE WITCH OF EYE (Sarabande), an essay collection about witches and witch trials coming out in February 2021, and RUE (BOA, 2020), a collection of poems about plants historically used for birth control and pissed off feelings about patriarchal bullshit. The End of Pink (BOA 2016) won the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Her collection of lyric essays is Brief Interviews with the Romantic Past (The Ohio State University Press, 2017). A recipient of fellowships from the NEA, American Antiquarian Society, Bakken Museum of Electricity in Life, H. J. Andrews Research Forest, She teaches in the creative writing program at University of Minnesota. Recent work appears in 32 Poems, Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, Gulf Coast, Paris Review, The Southern Review, and Waxwing.

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