In Witch, Philip Matthews’ debut collection, poems merge queer ecopoetics with religious disposition, speaking through a pantheon on mythic figures—from Jesus to Aphrodite—to commune or contend with reality. What emerges is a cumulative awareness of being a physical, energetic body in a fractured world, attempting to heal some part of it while exploring and embracing the gray areas of identity and ambiguity.
One might read The Tradition in any of a number of ways: as handbook of craft, as creed, as as platform, as statement of aesthetic, as all of these, and yet more than all of these together. What is important, though, is that one read it, and read it again.
“…over and over I felt undeserving of these children. Of anything good staying. It’s possible I still feel this way. I’m not sure this feeling will ever dissipate, no matter how many daughters I dream up in my poems.”