The witch is a shapeshifter. She transforms from vixen to hag, healer to hellion, adversary to advocate based on who seeks her. She is all and one at once. In Pam Grossman and Tin Can Forest’s new book What Is A Witch? the authors expertly encircle these paradoxes and particulars through a spellbinding fusion of images and words.
Writer, curator and teacher of magical practice Pam Grossman goes marrow deep with language that captures the magnetism of this icon of female power and persecution. Each line springs from history and myth, pop culture and art. Her touchstones are diverse and rich, ranging from East to West, from Renaissance woodcuts and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to herbology and psychology. An annotated version would fill volumes. There are galaxies condensed in her pithy poetry that expand in breathtaking jolts when coupled with illustrations by Tin Can Forest. Eyes peer from deep within the woods, birds swoop skyward, women morph into cats, read tarot, do root magic. Through darkly vivid drawings in black, grey, green, and blue hues, the Canadian duo give form and flesh to Grossman’s words.
What Is A Witch? is a spell unto itself. A book to be read aloud in a solo ritual or with the closest of familiars. There is power in its pages, a unifying force that beckons misfits and conjurers of all stripes to join together, and manifest our own magic by taking on the transformative identity of the witch.
Get your copy here.