"I wanted to know the scent of new earth, to hold light in my hands, to be human as furiously as I could." (Tamara Jobe on Hag)

As part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Tamara Jobe’s Hag, journalists and editors across the Internet have been sharing reviews of the book on their blogs, social media profiles, and literary journals.

Don’t miss a review by Amogha Lakshmi Halepuram Sridhar for Much Amo About Nothing (“This is a poetry collection that familiarizes you with the god in your blood.”), Crystal Vega-Huerta for Life In Poetry (“Hag transports us us through landscapes of light and shadow in a series of fecund poems where ‘nothing is holy’ yet everything is.”), Sarah Perchikoff for Bookish Rantings (“the descriptions of nature are raw and not sugar-coated whatsoever and I love it. I love when nature is shown as the force it is.”), and River Adams for Oh Shadows (“between love and grief, between wanting her truth told and wanting to rewrite it, Jobe walks along the tightrope of the book’s spine like a conductor’s song along the end of their staff, leading the reader—her orchestra—into the place where you remember how silence made you feel but you don’t remember a time when the music wasn’t playing.“). Also, an exclusive interview with Tamara here on the Half Mystic blog! Today, Tamara joins us once more for a guest post on the creation process of Hag…

 Will I not ask myself again
to wild. To toothbear. Smooth 
myself into less-than-human. 

—from “Otherkin” 

Wild woman. Being proclaimed wild as a way to establish distance. A way to pass judgment. Or perhaps a way to break the confines of expectation and exploitative labor. Being wild plays such a central role in Hag, for these reasons and so many others. 

When I think of the word hag, I think of the greying light beyond the horizon before a storm. I think of possibility hanging heavy in the air. Of beastly power. Of our animal bodies, little microcosms of nature itself. Of ritual beating itself into a frenzy in the dead of night, of might and wisdom and struggle. There is chaos in hag, as there is in all of us. But until we come to realize we are capable of directing that chaos, the swelling symphony of our stories, it may overtake us. 

For so many years I felt the sensation of being swayed in the great ocean of living, directionless, without purpose, my vision greying with bouts of panic and disillusionment. Writing this book enabled me to seize my power and to solidify who I was becoming as a person. And I wanted to be wild. I wanted to know the scent of new earth, to hold light in my hands, to be human as furiously as I could.