Showing posts from May, 2019

Kate Garrett Talks Magic

Today our Featured Artist Kate Garrett shares a guest post with us on all things magical!

Poetry is a spell – a few random thoughts from a scribbling witch

Magic, in my view, is everywhere, and the thing I consider it to be goes by different names to different people – but my personal definition of ‘magic’ is a sense of being connected to things outside of me – to the earth, the wider universe, other people and living things. It’s part of actual spellwork – that’s the witchcraft bit: using that connectedness, the magic in everything, to make things happen, move them forward. It’s focusing on symbolism far older than myself (e.g. astrology, the folklore of plants, animals, elements, gods) while also weaving references from books, films, and music together with ancestral wisdom. It’s an odd little system, but even though I am not the first witch in my family, I have had to walk the path mostly alone (due to deaths, moving to a new country, and a bumpy life), so it’s all mine: a mix of my…

A Magical Playlist from Kate Garrett

Wildlings, today we asked Kate Garrett to share some of her favourite tracks with us. Enjoy this playlist of music to make magic to!

A Changeling’s Playlist
Kate says: “This playlist includes songs that openly reference faeries, dragons, angels, unicorns, and so on; songs that feel magical, spiritual, or witchy to me in some way (yeah, I wasn’t about to leave the soundtrack to The Craft out of this – looking at Heather Nova covering Peter Gabriel, who happens to appear on this playlist with one of his most popular songs); and songs I actively listened to when I was writing To Feed My Woodland Bones (‘Phantasmagoria in Two’ and ‘Low Red Moon’ especially, and Fleetwood Mac always find a way to influence me, even if it’s just in tone). They are all songs I love, and songs that make good company for hovering between worlds. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!”


The Stolen Child ~ Simon Fowler/Merrymouth
Dark Turn of Mind ~ Gillian Welch
Undrentide ~ Mediaeval Baebes
I Have the T…

Assistant Editor Amanda McLeod reviews Kate Garrett's 'The saint of milk and flames'

In addition to her forthcoming release with Animal Heart Press, Featured Artist Kate Garrett has a full length collection, The saint of milk and flames, available for purchase here from Rhythm & Bones Press.

Animal Heart Press Assistant Editor Amanda McLeod shares her thoughts on this extraordinary collection:

Kate Garrett's work is well known for its magical qualities and The saint of milk and flames does not disappoint. From the opening poem, the rich lilting quality of Garrett's language is apparent. The collection is a beautiful and sometimes dark exploration of personal history and identity, weaving back and forth between shadows, with reminders that from shadow we can emerge into the light.

The book nods to Garrett's personal history, her formative experiences as a young girl and their impact on her as she grew. The prose poem 'In the brown Camaro' is a haunting, yearning example of Garrett's frank examination of the early influences on her constructi…

New Poetry from Featured Artist Kate Garrett

Today our Featured Artist Kate Garrett blesses us with some previously unpublished poems, specially selected for Animal Heart Press.

Kate says: "These are two poems from a collaborative pamphlet I’m writing with a friend – we chose angels as our topic, because we both appreciate there is more to angel lore than the twee, feathery beings of popular art and culture. We decided instead to write our poems about Biblical angels, angels in the occult and esotericism, and so on. The first of my two angel poems is about Sandalphon – one of only two angels to have originally been human (Elijah) – whose job is to weave prayers to send up to God; and the second involves John Dee and Edward Kelley, an alchemist and a medium who claimed to be in contact with angels, and founded the Enochian system of ceremonial magic."

Sandalphon counts doubts as prayers for garlands
cities on earth are your sandcastle kingdoms / with the vastness of Jupiter’s orbit / you spin prayers without pause into b…

Introducing our latest Featured Artist, Kate Garrett!

Come on a journey with us this week into the realm of the magical - with Featured Artist Kate Garrett as our guide!

Kate Garrett (she/her or they/them) is the editor of Three Drops from a Cauldron, Picaroon Poetry, and Bonnie's Crew, and her own writing is widely published online and in print. She is a regular contributing writer to Pussy Magic, a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, and the author of six pamphlets. Her seventh chapbook - To Feed My Woodland Bones [A Changeling's Tale] - will be published by Animal Heart Press in September 2019. Kate's first full-length collection The saint of milk and flames was published by Rhythm & Bones Press in April 2019. Born and raised in rural southern Ohio, Kate moved to the UK in 1999, where she still lives in Sheffield with her husband, five children, and a sleepy cat. Visit her website

The book Kate mentions in her intro video is 'Hag' by Zoe Mitchell. You can grab a cop…

Wildlings...A New Author Announcement!


It gives us at Animal Heart Press the utmost delight to announce our next publication!
Please join us in welcoming Catherine Garbinsky to our author family!

We will be publishing Catherine's exquisite poetry chapbook, Even Curses End, in October 2019!
You can connect with Catherine on Twitter  or via her website

Featured Artist Jeremy Mifsud's 'Welcome To The Sombre Days' Playlist

On his final day as our Featured Artist, we asked Jeremy Mifsud to create a playlist to accompany his book, Welcome To The Sombre Days, which you can purchase here.

Jeremy says,  "I have come up with the following ten songs in this order because I feel they parallel the structure of Welcome to the Sombre Days well".

Enjoy, wildlings!

⟸ Previous post

Jeremy Mifsud Reads for Us

Wildlings! You're in for a treat!

Today, Featured Artist Jeremy Mifsud reads us a previously unpublished poem, which you can find below. Enjoy!

Earthly Wonders
You write       about us              taking             long walks,                        leaving                    footprints in sand,
lying down                        on grass              sipping wine                     & sunshine.
I write about                         how I curl                                      in your body,              becoming so small                          in your chest;
waves of silk sheets              crash on our skin                           as I surf               on your body,              floating                           in ecstasy.
The world is magical:                            the scent of petrichor                                       in colourful meadows,               the sound of waterfalls                            splashing under rainbows;
but nothing is as magical               as yo…

Jeremy Mifsud on Unmasking Truth in Poetry

Today our Featured Artist Jeremy Mifsud shares his thoughts with a guest post on writing real people into poetry, and the impact in can have both on us and those who are intimate parts of our lives.

Real Life People in Poems
Poetry is an intimate art through which we creatively channel our emotions. When I started writing, I was extremely self-conscious of the fact that my family and friends could read the poems I publish. In fear of hurting others, I masked identities in the ambiguous — most of the ‘she’ in my poems are referencing my mother. Strategically, it was useful to ensure a security; I could lie and say, “Oh, this is about someone else, don’t worry,” but it was counterproductive to my poetry.
I gave up on that (to some extent). There is always an allure to a general pronoun such as ‘you’. A poem about an ex will remain a poem about an ex, no matter which ex it refers to. It’s a tightrope we must walk on carefully; people that know us personally will know who we are talking about…

Jeremy Mifsud Curates Your Poetry Favourites!

On Monday, we invited you to join a conversation on Twitter with Featured Artist Jeremy Mifsud. Today, Jeremy curates a list of your recommendations along with his thoughts on the titles you've suggested.

On Monday, I asked you readers on which poetry collection do you love and why? I wanted to achieve two things with this. Primarily, to understand better the relationship of the reader to poetry, but also to generate talk and appreciation towards poets’ works.

One of the readers, Mela Blust, picked Camonghne Felix’s “Build Yourself a Boat”, which was published last April. The reader was “floored at the way [Felix] uses language, petals of words turning into flowers of poem.” I thought this was a beautiful image to describe someone’s writing. Moreover, the reader related to the topics discussed in the poems, including self-harm, trauma and healing.

Another reader (and AHP assistant editor), Amanda McLeod talks about “Amid Thirsty Vines” by Alfa. In her words, the collection is very de…

Jeremy Mifsud on Poetry, Identity and Healing

Today our Assistant Editor Amanda McLeod talks with Featured Artist Jeremy Mifsud about how poetry can help us find our authentic identities, and how we can use words to heal.
(Trigger warning: this post deals with abuse. Please exercise self care while reading.)

Amanda McLeod: For many of us, we wear masks in our daily lives and struggle to define our true identities. What role do you think poetry plays in helping us uncover and accept our authentic selves?
Jeremy Mifsud: Poetry is an intimate activity through which we are able to explore the self and our innermost desires. It is a place that begs to break free from conformity, and especially in the day and age where poets are encouraged to experiment with form, poetry has become a place where all rules can be broken. This is an ideal formula for us to let our authentic selves emerge onto paper.

AM: A lot of writers use their writing to process difficult experiences. How do you think making ourselves vulnerable through our work helps us…

New poetry from Featured Artist Jeremy Mifsud

Today Featured Artist Jeremy Mifsud shares a collection of poems, chosen exclusively for Animal Heart Press.
(Trigger warning: This work addresses sexual assault. Please exercise self care while reading.)

The Necessity of Poetry
I must write because a blank page is white flag waved over my body.
He used me without consent, but I refuse to burn down.
I walk in battlezone, feet on scorched earth, sewing back scraps of body parts.
His memory is now ink, printed on paper; unable to break free;
I’m winning the war.

i was enjoying talking to you until i heard the word rape                       my mind                       oozed                       out of                       my body
i couldn’t feel                 my heartbeat                 my breath, couldn’t even hear                 the sound                 coming out                 of your lips numb to everything
i witnessed the darkness taint my memories of you, their light dispersing in a blink.

My Body is a Crime Scene after Blythe Baird
When a guy puts hi…

Introducing our latest Featured Artist...Jeremy Mifsud!

Animal Heart Press is committed to womxn and their supporters. In the spirit of highlighting those who support womxn, we are pleased to introduce this month's Featured Artist, Jeremy Mifsud!

Jeremy Mifsud (he/him) is a queer and autistic poet from Malta. Social ineptitude becomes a catalyst for his art as he weaves unsaid words into poems and stories. He is the author of “From the Backseat of a Bus” (2019) and “Welcome to the Sombre Days” (2018). More of his work appears or is forthcoming in Ghost City Press, Terse Journal, Door is a Jar Magazine, Burning House Press and others. You can find Jeremy on his website or on Twitter.

We're introducing Jeremy with a guest blog post from him. Over to you, Jeremy!

Favourite Collections
As the first of my posts as a featured poet, I wanted to highlight a couple of my favourite poetry collections and share why they mean so much to me.
The first collection I chose is Blythe Baird’s “If My Body Could Speak.” In her poetry, she writes about he…

Anne Walsh Donnelly On Poetic Inspiration

On her final day as our Featured Artist, Anne Walsh Donnelly shares one of her poetic inspirations.
One of Anne’s favourite poets is Mary Oliver. She says, “I keep a book of Mary Oliver’s poems on my bedside locker. They are a great source of inspiration and have much wisdom to offer.
Anne wrote the poem she shares with us today after reading Mary Oliver’s poem, Don’t Hesitate. 

Anne says of her poem, “it’s about taking care of yourself. When I was recovering from depression, I finally realised the importance of looking after myself, taking time out for me to do what I love to do and what nourishes me. Writing is soul food for me. I am a better person because of it. That’s why it’s so important for me to sometimes be selfish, put myself first and carve out space in my day to do what sustains me. We all need to practice self-care, find what nourishes us and do it regularly.”

Self-love (Previously published in The Blue Nib magazine)
After Mary Oliver
If you feel your heart leap when you glimp…

Poetry And Reflection From Anne Walsh Donnelly

Featured Artist Anne Walsh Donnelly explores many themes in her writing. Loss, redemption, sexuality and love feature prominently in her work. Some of her fiction is dark and often violent. She grew up in a rural community and this has greatly influenced her work. Animals such as cows, calves, sheep, owls, and bulls all feature in her writing. A lot of her poems and stories are set in rural areas and her characters are often what she describes as being slightly unhinged. 
She says, “I am able to tap into the darkness that exists in the unconscious as well as the light that resides there. The good and bad, hard and soft, sweet and sour. Sometimes my writing makes me laugh, sometimes it makes me cry. It’s a whole-self experience in the best possible way.”
The poem she shares with us today comes from The Blue Nib Poetry Chapbook, 2, which features eight of Anne’s rural based poems.
Prayers after Communion (i) God, would ya make it okay to be gay? Or strike Jack Doyle dumb. Stop him calling me a…