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Fables and Spells

Fables and Spells

Collected and New Short Fiction and Poetry (Emergent Strategy #5)

adrienne maree brown
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Visionary fiction and poetry from bestselling author adrienne maree brown.

Building on the success of her popular Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown has launched a series of the same name, bringing readers books that explore experimental, expansive, and innovative ways to meet the challenges that face our world today. Books that find the opportunity in every crisis!

Fables and Spells, a gathering of adrienne maree brown's short stories and poems, is a vibrant selection of visionary works, both previously published and brand new. Included here is her most beloved story, "The River," as well as the two sequel tales of her Water Trio. The remaining fourteen tales and nineteen poems explore moments of beauty, conflict, and transformation that weave deep, radical lessons into the folds of the fantastical. Reparations to the descendants of enslaved Africans lead to surprising biological changes. An found audio fragment from the year 2067 shows the triumph over competition and death by those who understand that "our roots are intertwined." Her "spells" play on the edge of poetry with directives, chants, and world-bending efforts to engage the present towards a different future. 

adrienne maree brown sometimes calls herself a fiction writer temporarily writing nonfiction, a poet trying to change the world. Fables and Spells brings fans of her work--and all lovers of speculative fiction and poetry--brilliant, new visions of change and possibility.


"adrienne maree brown is a force of nature, a stream of wisdom, and an oracle for our times. Luminous creativity permeates this work. While acknowledging the deep despair the world grapples with, adrienne maree brown reminds us that all of nature is adaptive and that witching is, and always has been, the way to alchemize the complexities we are confronted with. These spells are cast with our wellness centered and our humanity uplifted." -- Chani Nicholas, New York Times bestselling author of You Were Born For This

"I felt such a deep connection to myself and my community while reading Fables and Spells. It gave me permission to feel like I knew it all and also nothing ... like I'm tapped into an energy so rich and abundant but also so depleted and tired. The stories reminded me that we all have the capacity to heal and destroy." -- Juju Bae, host of A Little Juju Podcast


adrienne maree brown is a writer living in Detroit. Her previous work includes Octavia's BroodEmergent StrategyPleasure ActivismWe Will Not Cancel Us and publication of her visionary fiction in The FunambulistHarvard Design Review, and Dark Mountain. Her work is informed by more than two decades of social justice movement work as a facilitator. She is the writer-in-residence at Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute.

  • Publisher: AK Press (November 8, 2022)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1849354502
  • ISBN-13: 9781849354509
  • Item Weight: 1.11 pounds
  • Dimensions: 5 x 8 inches
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