WITCH

Rebecca Tamás

"WITCH is sexy, frightening and cerebral. Rebecca Tamás is the real deal."

Katherine Angel
a poetry book society recommendation

WITCH is a strange, visceral and darkly witty debut by a startling new voice in British poetry.

Rebecca Tamás reckons with blood and earth, mysticism and the devil, witch trials and the suffragettes, gender and sexuality. At turns lyrical, philosophical and obscene, WITCH evokes the intimate, sensual power of nature and merges it with the revolutionary potential of women’s voices. These are poems as spells — spells against suppression, silence and obedience; hexes that cling to your body like sweat, full of a messy, violent joy, ‘a small, bright, filthy song’.

Feminist, ecological and occult, WITCH grabs history and shakes it, demanding: ‘Wake me up when it really gets started’.

 

Our price £9.99
RRP £9.99
Paperback
120 pages
ISBN 9781908058621
Published 20 March 2019
Cover design: PITM

Reviews

My heart pounded as I read WITCH; I felt as if Tamás's words were burning the page as I read. WITCH is sexy, frightening, and cerebral at once; full of the weight of history, while also being witty, contemporary, and playful. What Tamás does with language, and with the legacy of the witch, is thrillingly strange. She is the real deal.
Katherine Angel

Emerging from the gloom, in tar, grit and blood, WITCH is an occult trip, a miasmic universe without stricture. A fissure through the lyric mode, the poems ooze up through the cracks like lava. Demons, vomit, eggs, agony; I want to live inside this book.
Rachael Allen

Sharp-witted, trenchant and bold, Rebecca Tamás’ WITCH constellates the characteristics of instinctual life by pulling sexuality into the realm of the archetypal, where we are challenged to face witch qualities within our own unconscious. By targeting the body, these stunning poems awaken primordial parts of our being, releasing energy that had been mobilized towards repression, so that we become free to taste the radical eroticism of volcanic God-speaking feelings. These spells and hexes reanimate historical female silence, demanding that we listen to all that had been kept latent for so long. Can we accept the witch — the female within ourselves — as she is, without trying to make her conform to our expectations? To do so, we would have to adjust our thinking instead of forcing adjustment in the Other—we would have to change ourselves. WITCH leads the way.
Nuar Alsadir

Rebecca Tamás’ WITCH is the book of poems we need in 2019. Part poetry book, part questionnaire, and part spell book, WITCH is immediate and vibrant, talking directly to us with its eyes on us from the first page and relentlessly until the end. Like a vengeful hornet, the persona in these pages waits for us as we swim idly by in the lake until we come up for air so that it can sting us again. Like a demon, the persona hides under the table until we lift up the tablecloth and see its shining eyes. This is a book that stays with you, long after you are done reading it. WITCH makes us question what or who we pray to, what we write poems for, and how we are living and if this is really the right way. More than anything, WITCH asks to reconsider our relationship to humanity and how we use the terms good or evil to explain any universal human action. In the midst of gorgeous and horrific imagery, which cuts us like glass, it tells us to be kind to each other. WITCH is such a wise book. It tells us what we need to hear.
Dorothea Lasky

Rebecca Tamás' language is a site of resistance. She uses magic as a potent tool to shatter the oppressive structures that bind us. WITCH is concerned with the politics of the body; desire, sex, the sky, rotting fruit. Her words are wet and rich and dirty and full of power. It is a call to arms for witches, to shape a new world.
Jessica Andrews, author of Saltwater

Opening with a “penis hex”, WITCH is intent on reclaiming the sorcerer as a symbol of female empowerment, conjuring spells where “the smell of freedom is the smell of vomit”. Freewheeling and spirited, these poems tend to take the form of lengthy streams of consciousness, blurring statements, non sequiturs and disembodied confessions to unpick themes as various as logic and friendship.
Ben Wilkinson, The Guardian

Rebecca Tamás's WITCH ... is filled with a sort of propulsive demoniac vitality that powers you straight through it, cover to cover. [...] She is wonderfully evocative, appealingly grouchy and possesses ... visionary instincts.
James Marriott, The Times

A pungent highlight of the year.
Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph

As heretical as it is cerebral, WITCH rages ferociously through the occult to the obscene. From hexes on patriarchy to a spell for UN resolutions, Tamás upturns the world as we know it into “a small bright filthy song”. A fierce new voice, “red and pulsing”, which refuses to be silenced.
Poetry Book Society

Scatological, subversive and frankly delicious, Rebecca Tamás’ WITCH is the blood offering you’ve been waiting to imbibe.
Shivanee Ramlochan, Magma

This collection is insanely good. It arcs terrifyingly, exhilaratingly off the page, demanding of the reader a complete, spirited, whole-body response. It is also by turns: profoundly political; arcane & expansive; sensual; disturbing; hilarious and dark.
Ruth Wiggins

By bewitching “language and its vulgar rotations” to do her bidding, [Tamás] clears a poetic space into which all sorts of meanings, identifications, desires and fantasies can be smuggled, unencumbered by the classically male shackles of rationality [...] hers is a poetry that lifts your spirit.
Desmond Huthwaite, TANK

Tamás explores the figure of the witch and her relationship to gender and the state in a way that feels strikingly true to the political and personal malaises of twenty-first-century life. [...] Is it too cheesy to say that I’m spellbound?
Rhian Sasseen, The Paris Review

In giving voice to the witch, Tamás recovers her from occultism, from hiding and secrecy, and makes her manifest, obvious, and visible.
Nisha Ramayya, Poetry London

WITCH ... returns language to women who have been silenced [...] I devoured her poems, one 'small, bright, filthy song' after another.
Rebecca Hurst, The Manchester Review

About the author

Rebecca Tamás was born in London and currently lives in York, where she lectures at York St John University. Rebecca is the editor, with Sarah Shin, of the anthology Spells: Occult Poetry for the 21st Century (Ignota Press, 2018). She has published three pamphlets of poetry: The Ophelia Letters (Salt, 2013), Savage (Clinic, 2017) and Tiger (Bad Betty Press, 2018). WITCH is her first full-length collection.

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