Amanda Lovelace sets fire to the patriarchy in ‘the witch doesn’t burn in this one’

Title: the witch doesn’t burn in this one
Author: Amanda Lovelace
Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Source: eARC via NetGalley
Length: 210 pages
Available: 6 March 2018

witchAmanda Lovelace returns with her sophomore poetry collection and does not disappoint. Leaving behind the softness of her previous collection, the princess saves herself in this onethe witch doesn’t burn in this one holds back no emotion. Anger and a need for both redemption and revenge ripples through the collection as the narrator comes to terms with their own self-worth and past traumas.

“i may

not survive the match-boys, but my
bitch-fire will surive them all.”
p. 24

Broken down into four sections–the trail, the burning, the firestorm, and the ashes–strong themes of anti-patriarchy smolder through images of women being burned at the stake. With each poem, the narrator’s power grows as she begins to acknowledge the history of how women have been treated all along and how the present and past mirror each other. Women may not be physically burned at the stake, but it doesn’t mean they’re not still hunted. That there isn’t still work to be done to ensure a bright future for the women who will come after us.

the world
just how


makes you.”
p. 127

Written in a style akin to spoken-word poetry, it is easy to hear Lovelace’s voice, and the emotion behind the words, in each poem. Part thank you to the women who came before her, part reminder to her fellow poets to keep going, and part warning to all those who would cause harm, Lovelace makes her readers sit up and take notice. She may be a princess, but she’s also a witch: someone not to be underestimated. Someone who is just getting started.

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