Earth, Milky Way: punctum books, 2024. 184 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1-68571-220-4. DOI: 10.53288/05017.1.00. OPEN-ACCESS e-book and $15.00 in print: paperbound/4.25 X 9.25 in.

A Story of Witchery

Fantasy, fear, and freedom all play a part in A Story of Witchery, a book-length narrative poem by Jennifer Calkins, and newly illustrated by Thor Harris. Here we meet Emily, our “small and weedy” protagonist, an orphan complicit (perhaps) in her own abandonment who is caught up, as poet Amy Gerstler writes in her Introduction, in a story “entwined with science facts and twisted clinical fictions.” In language rolling and tripping with spare precision, Calkins makes a modern pilgrim’s progress into the imagination and the dark world of medicine. Rich and haunting images create a seemingly familiar environment which, like the internal landscape of the protagonist, dissolves only to reform, until finally resolving into a healed whole.

This title is a second edition, released as part of punctum’s Special Collections project.