The Hammer of Witches

By Kelly Rose Pflug-Back

Categories: Poetry, LGBTQ+
Imprint: Dagger Editions
Paperback : 9781773860299, 72 pages, August 2020

Blending lore and magic with contemporary questions around belief and beauty, power and fear, this stunning new poetry collection from Kelly Rose Pflug-Back is a grimoire for our times.


Spanning centuries, The Hammer of Witches reaches from present-day urban dystopias and the unlikely enchantments that they harbour, to medieval Norway, where the first Christian king waged war on the country's gender-nonconforming wizards. Macabre imagery, speculative themes, and everyday mysticism blur the distinction between the real and the unreal, challenging modern concepts of beauty, power, and fear.

In her first full-length collection, Kelly Rose Pflug-Back weaves together the magical and the monstrous, the sacred and the profane, to make sense of a world where primeval forests are clear-cut to build parking lots, and where it often seems that the gods have all gone to live behind the veil. The Hammer of Witches was completed with the help of funding from the Ontario Arts Council's Writers' Reserve program.


"The Hammer of Witches revels in the grim beauty of modern fables and primordial desires. Kelly Rose Pflug-Back conjures poems with imagery like fine silver filigree--fishbone combs, creaking whale's ribs, and the distant hum of Prince's 'Purple Rain.' This book is a hiding spot you want to crawl into with all your beloved and broken bits."
--Adèle Barclay, award-winning author of If I Were in a Cage I'd Reach Out for You and Renaissance Normcore