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Poetry as Spellcasting

Poetry as Spellcasting

Poems, Essays, and Prompts for Manifesting Liberation and Reclaiming Power

Various Authors
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Poems, essays, and prompts to sing a new world into being--Queer & BIPOC perspectives on poetry as an insurgent ritual for manifesting liberation and reclaiming power.

Written for poets, spellcasters, and social justice witches, Poetry as Spellcasting reveals the ways poetry and ritual can, together, move us toward justice and transformation. It asks: If ritualized violence upholds white supremacy, what ritualized acts of liberation can be activated to subvert and reclaim power?

In essays from a diverse group of contributing poets, organizers, and ritual artists, Poetry as Spellcasting helps readers explore, play, and deepen their creativity and intuition as integral tools for self- and communal healing and social change. Each section opens with a poem and includes prompts that invite the reader to engage more deeply with: 

  • Portals of Inheritance: Ancestral Teachings, Possible Futures opens portals to messages from ancestors and for survival
  • Languages of Liberation, Disruption, and Magic explores how poetry and spellcasting allow us to enter into and harness language in active, heightened ways that both reflect reality and manifest alternatives.
  • Invoking Radical Imagination leans into the incantatory possibilities of poetry as prayer and poetry as enchantment.
  • Sacred Practices: Rituals of Repair and Revision explores writing as ritual, ritual as practice, and practice as doing, drawing connections between the creative practices of poetry and spellwork.
  • Lighting Fires, Breaking Chains focuses on the explicitly magical and political nature of poetry as spellcasting.
  • Elemental Ecologies, Spiritual Technologies wrestles with concepts of home, colonization, and belonging

Both poetry and occult studies have been historically dominated by white, cishet writers; here, Poetry as Spellcasting reclaims the centrality of queer and BIPOC voices in poetry, magic, and liberatory spellwork.


Tamiko Beyer is the author of the poetry collections Last Days and We Come Elemental. Her poetry and articles have been published by Denver Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, Lit Hub, and the Rumpus. Beyer publishes Starlight and Strategy, a monthly newsletter for living life wide awake and shaping change. 

Destiny Hemphill is a Black daughter of the U.S. South with nearly a decade of experience in co-creating spaces devoted to poetry, communion, and transformation. She has received fellowships from Tin House, Callaloo, and Naropa University, and is a co-poetry editor of Southern Cultures. 

Lisbeth White has worked in private practices as an arts therapist for 13 years, supporting individual and community mental health. She has facilitated community-based workshops for healing justice work, including Black artist-activist residencies at Blue Mountain Center, and has taught and coordinated healing spaces for Black Love Convergence, BIPOC yoga teacher trainings, and Parenting for Liberation. She is the author of the poetry collection American Sycamore.


  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books (May 16, 2023)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1623177197
  • ISBN-13: 9781623177195
  • Item Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Dimensions: 6 x 0.52 x 9 inches


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