Happy Samhain and Happy Halloween! Check out some of WUP’s festive publications for the season–Spells by Annie Finch and Food for the Dead by Michael Bell.
A feminist and a pagan, Annie Finch writes about love, spirituality, death, nature, and the patterns of time. Spell: New and Selected Poems, ranges from female and earth-centered spirituality to chants and other experimental forms. The collection includes poems from over her career in a stunning collection that is perfect for this Halloween season. The Poetry Witch Little Book of Spells is a tiny book of poetry spells connected to elemental forces—a great gift for yourself or for the poetry witch in your life.
Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England’s Vampires by Michael E. Bell is another publication perfect for Halloween. Author and folklorist Michael Bell spent twenty years pursuing stories of the vampire in New England. While writers like H. P. Lovecraft, Henry David Thoreau, and Amy Lowell drew on portions of these stories in their writings, Bell brings the actual practices to light for the first time. He shows that the belief in vampires was widespread, and, for some families, lasted well into the twentieth century. With humor, insight, and sympathy, he uncovers story upon story of dying men, women, and children who believed they were food for the dead. You can read more about “The Great New England Vampire Panic” in this article from Smithsonian Magazine. It features Bell, and Nick Bellantoni, another Wesleyan author and former state archeologist of Connecticut.