"Everyone should have a copy of Annie Finch's Spells on their shelf, for those hours when patterned rhythm and sound seem the best approximation of the soul's speaking."
—Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, Verse
Spells: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2012), brings together Annie’s most memorable and important poems written over 40 years. The book also includes a number of new and previously unpublished poems.
Summer Solstice Chant
The sun, rich and open,
stretches and pours on the bloom of our work.
In the center of the new flowers,
a darker wing of flower
points you like a flower.
Point your fire like a flower.
"Finch's uniquely mysterious voice moves through the book, revealing insights on the classic themes of love, spirituality, death, nature, and the patterns of time. Annie Finch is celebrated for her extraordinary love and knowledge of poetic craft, and Spells displays her virtuosity in a broad range of genres and forms."
—From the publisher
"An amazingly gifted voice at the height of her talents. Spells will simply leave you enchanted."
—David Bowles, The Monitor
"Finch succeeds in transporting the reader to [a] timeless space"
—Bethany Rose Prosseda, Rain Taxi Review
"The reader can trust Spells, poem after poem, and can revel in it. . . . I enjoyed the reading experience thoroughly, knowing I could settle in. Together, the poems are fables and stories that echo into something greater, drawing the reader into a grand, female-centered narrative of ourselves and the world."
—Anna Leahy, Fiction Writers Review
”Annie Finch’s Spells is a pure tone that calls us home to the first impulse of poetry. We link to mystery. We lift off.”
"Spells is an exuberant exposition of Annie Finch’s accomplishment as a poet of craft, humor, myth, intimacy and of the natural world.”
"Finch’s poetry, plays, and performance pieces, infused with the spirit of thousands of poetic predecessors, remind us that poetry and theater were once wedded and that, in poetry, emotional and intellectual meanings are inextricable from their material properties: voice, word, sound, form, and rhythm. Everyone should have a copy of Annie Finch’s Spells on their shelf, for those hours when patterned rhythm and sound seem the best approximation of the soul’s speaking."
—Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, World Literature Today
“One of the most dexterous formal poets writing in the United States today, Annie Finch is at ease in a dazzling variety of prosodic modes, from the very short lyric to the sonnet to myriad metrical constructions in stanzaic forms…all of her considerable talents are on
display in Spells: New and Selected Poems.”
"Annie Finch has devoted her career to opening up the poetry world to a greater diversity of formal traditions, and Spells is a high-spirited and expansive selection of her finest work in many of these forms.”
―Debra Bruce, Fifth Wednesday
"There is a strong sense of female identity in these poems, as well as an evidently committed engagement with the work of other women writers . . . Spells bears witness to a considerable body of work and an impressive commitment to the traditions of poetry across a poetic career that pans four decades.”
—Caitriona O’Reilly, Poetry Salzburg Review
Finch’s poetry never stands out as wholly musical upon first read (or even the first few subsequent ones). But when it is thought of as a performance, a recital, an incantation, the sound comes out. Indeed, it fills one’s ears. . . As a studied artist, Finch knows how to get within us and make it look easy. The poems only appear to be simple. Finch came to metrical, rhyming verse by way of non-referential avant garde language experiments. Too often we confuse accessibility with simplicity (and therefore with a paucity of artistic quality). Spells dismisses this notion.
—G.M. Palmer, The Critical Flame
"This book is well named Spells . . . The reader spends hours enraptured, informed and suspended."
—Mary Ann Sullivan, The Tower Journal