My debut, A Spell in the Wild: a year (and six centuries) of Magic, is published by Two Roads, Hachette. You can buy it here.
In A Spell in the Wild, Alice Tarbuck explores what it means to be a witch today. Where ‘witch’ was once a dangerous – and often deadly – accusation, it is now a proud self-definition. And as the world becomes ever more complicated and we face ecological, political, social and global health crises, witchcraft is experiencing a resurgence. Magic is back.
Alice describes what she practises as ‘intersectional, accessible’ witchcraft – it’s about the magic you can find in an overgrown snicket or a sixth floor stairwell; whatever your gender; whether you’re able to climb a mountain or can’t leave the house. Month by month, Alice walks us through everyday magic for extraordinary times.
‘These enchanting words make the world feel less broken’ – Emma Mitchell, author of The Wild Remedy
‘Part-primer, part-chronicle; a fresh and personal account of a contemporary witch’s year told with lucidity and verve’ – Eley Williams, author of The Liar’s Dictionary
In a world that often feels like it makes no sense, many people have begun to reach out to the numinous for a sense of understanding and connection. Looking back to ancient wisdom, folklore and classic texts for answers can be helpful, but sometimes without the context of the contemporary it can be hard to see how these old ways apply to the here and now. Too often, depictions of witches – and indeed some contemporary witchcraft practices – perpetuate harmful racist, colonialist and culturally appropriative narratives. Gender essentialism crops up often in witchcraft circles, and #witchgoals trends proliferated by large companies and mass media raises troubling questions about the relationship between witchcraft and capitalism. The Modern Craft is an eclectic and radical collection of essays on witchcraft practice and the ethics of magic, which gives that much-needed modern context to timeless wisdom. This is a fascinating snapshot of contemporary occult practice viewed through an intersectional lens. Essays include poets on the magic inherent in language, working-class witches on the reclamation of agency through practical spellwork, and gender fluid practitioners on the necessity of breaking down traditional hierarchies in magical symbolism. Poetic, inspiring and electrifying glimpses from the brink of contemporary craft, these essays show how anyone, no matter where they live or who they are, can find positivity and the force for powerful change in the subversive unknown.
With courage, conviction, and a fierce love and respect for the craft, this fiery collection is poised to spark vital conversations and radical change in the world of witchcraft and beyond. –Kristen J. Sollée, author of Witches, Sluts, Feminists and Witch Hunt
About the Authors
Dr Alice Tarbuck is a writer, author of A Spell In The Wild, and academic specializing in witchcraft and environmental humanities. Her work on witchcraft has been featured in Nasty Women and The Dangerous Women Project, and she has spoken on witchcraft at Scottish PEN, Freedom TV and the Arthur Conan Doyle Centre.
Dr Claire Askew is the author of three novels: All The Hidden Truths, What You Pay For and Cover Your Tracks. A fourth, A Matter of Time, is out this year. Also a poet, Claire’s second collection How to burn a woman, publishing this year, features voices from the European Witchcraft Hysteria. Claire’s accolades include the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, a Jessie Kesson Fellowship, and the McIlvanney Debut Prize.