Strange Magic by Jay Rafferty; Songs from the Witch Bottle by Louise Longson – Brief Reviews


by @ellenreadsalot

Strange Magic (Alien Buddha Press): Jay Rafferty

Strange Magic is an eclectic and compelling chapbook written by Irish writer Jay Rafferty.

Rafferty has a beautifully unique way of romanticising the mundane. He can make a confrontation with a bird feel like an age old war between men (A Foul Vendetta) and evokes Irish mythology when fantasising about the origin of an abandoned high-heeled shoe (The Canal Queen Cometh).

Strange Magic also explores the complexities of religion in The Beginning of Time. He perfectly captures both the comfortable familiarity and the ancient coldness of the institution to somebody who has been raised within it.

Strange Magic is nostalgic, uplifting, tender, and life affirming, especially I’m Magic Too. It feels both modern and ancient, past and present. It is special and will be revisited over and over.

Songs from the Witch Bottle (Alien Buddha Press): Louise Longson

Louise Longson’s poetry shines an unflinching light on society’s deepest, darkest secrets. Using rich and vivid imagery, Longson takes the reader on a journey of trauma, injustice and self-discovery.

The age-old experiences of women are woven and intertwined with legends and myth. Longson’s pen is a weapon, sharply defending the downtrodden and giving the reader hope of the ‘healing of the word’ while educating us about the women who crawled so we ight one day run.

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