The Flame of Her Will by Phoebe Reeves


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This chapbook consists of an erasure of part of the Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of the Witches), a witch-hunting text published and translated repeatedly across Europe through the 16th century and retranslated into English as late as 1928, from which this chapbook’s text is drawn. It is disturbingly relevant for today, as the poet explains in her Foreword:

These poems are…brought to you now with a renewed feeling of urgency, as the Supreme Court rescinds the bodily autonomy of women (any uterus-having person, by most of these laws’ definitions) and states race to enact ever-tightening laws controlling us. We must all remember for how brief a time women, trans, intersex, and nonbinary folk have had even imperfect legal rights to themselves, and how easily such rights can be erased….

If…witches are “a vast political movement, an organized society…a world-wide plot,” then perhaps it is time for us all to claim the name of “Witch.”