Poetry That Haunts Us

Poetry That Haunts Us

‘Tis the season to go deep into the things that give you a fright or chill you to the bone. These poetry collections will get the job done.

Sometimes the things that go bump in the night live only in our minds, not in the physical world. These poetry collections haunt us with their deep, melancholic, themes and rich, visceral use of language. They pull you deep into the folds of the human experience, one line and one emotion at a time. These collections are for any poet heart that’s living with regret, or that has been broken, or that feels chased through the dark by fleet-footed memories.

To Drink Coffee with a Ghost by Amanda Lovelace

Description: “You cannot have a funeral for your mother without also having a funeral for yourself.”  This book poses the ever-lingering question: What happens when someone dies before they’re able to redeem themselves?

From the bestselling & award-winning poetess, Amanda Lovelace, comes the finale of her illustrated duology, “things that h(a)unt.” In the first installment, to make monsters out of girls,  Lovelace explored the memory of being in a toxic romantic relationship. In to drink coffee with a ghost, Lovelace unravels the memory of the complicated relationship she had with her now-deceased mother.

At Night by Lisa Ciccarello

Description: A dark and incantatory book of poems filled with cruelty, witchcraft, and retribution, perfect for those enchanted by nightfall and the mysteries that can only be revealed once the sun has set. Often short and fragmented, these poems explore how the living deal with and create death, and what the repercussions are when the dead escape their confines. This book is a shadowy artifact from a fearful place, where you must create any light you hope will guide you. 





Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire

Description: What elevates ‘teaching my mother how to give birth’, what gives the poems their disturbing brilliance, is Warsan Shire’s ability to give simple, beautiful eloquence to the veiled world where sensuality lives in the dominant narrative of Islam; reclaiming the more nuanced truths of earlier times – as in Tayeb Salih’s work – and translating to the realm of lyric the work of the likes of Nawal El Saadawi. As Rumi said, “Love will find its way through all languages on its own”; in ‘teaching my mother how to give birth’, Warsan’s début pamphlet, we witness the unearthing of a poet who finds her way through all preconceptions to strike the heart directly. Warsan Shire is a Kenyan-born Somali poet and writer who is based in London. Born in 1988, she is an artist and activist who uses her work to document narratives of journey and trauma. Warsan has read her work internationally, including recent readings in South Africa, Italy and Germany, and her poetry has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.







Light Magic for Dark Times by Lisa Marie Basile

Description: Having a hard time tapping into the light? Find illumination, resiliency, self-care, and inner magic with Light Magic for Dark Times–an inspired, accessible, and modern collection of practices, rituals, and spells. You’ll power up your inner witch, map your road toward healing and regeneration, find your creativity, and explore your shadow side.

These 100 spells are ideal for those inexperienced with self-care rituals, as well as experienced witches. They can be cast during a crisis or to help prevent one, to protect loved ones, to welcome new beginnings, to heal from grief, or to find strength.

Whether you’re working with the earth, performing a cleanse with water or smoke, healing with tinctures or crystals, meditating through grief, brewing, enchanting, or communing with your coven, Light Magic for Dark Times will help you tap into your inner witch in times of need.

Salt is for Curing by Sonya Vatomsky

Description: Poetry. Women’s Studies. LGBT Studies. SALT IS FOR CURING is the lush and haunting full-length debut by Sonya Vatomsky. These poems, structured as an elaborate meal, conjure up a vapor of earthly pains and magical desires; like the most enduring rituals, Vatomsky’s poems both intoxicate and ward. A new blood moon in American poetry, SALT IS FOR CURING is surprising, disturbing, and spookily illuminating.


Ascend Ascend by Janaka Stucky

Description: Ascend Ascend was written over the course of twenty days, coming in and out of trance states brought on by intermittent fasting and somatic rituals while secluded in the tower of a 100-year-old church. It is rooted in the jewish mystical tradition of merkabah literature, chronicling an ascent up the kabbalistic sefirot to witness the “chariot of god.” While traditional merkabah prose trends dry―focused on preparations for the journey while demurring to describe the experience itself―Ascend Ascend uses poetry to touch the ineffable. Equal parts Walt Whitman and Maggot Brain, this long poem documents the ecstatic destruction of the self.



Nocturnal by Wilder Poetry

Description: The poems of Nocturnal—newly revised and expanded—are constellations to guide those on a journey of healing and self-discovery, no matter how dark the night.

From @wilderpoetry comes a heavily expanded revised edition of Nocturnal, a collection of poetry and beautifully illustrated black-and-white imagery inspired by darkened days and sleepless nights. Poetry meets presentation in each of the four sections (“Dusk,” “Northern Lights,” “Howl,” “Lucid Dreams,”), which trace the author’s continuing journey of self-discovery while illuminating a path for others along the way. Ink stains, landscapes, dreamlike animals, blackened pages, and textured spreads create a multifaceted reading experience. And true to the moniker, these poems are linked by a motif of “the wild.” Celebrating the art of self-love poetry with both word and image, Nocturnal will leave readers comforted, curious, and inspired to explore the world around them. 

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