Review by Lissa Sloan: The Best of Eternal Haunted Summer
“Rooted at dusty crossroads, dirt in palm.” In the opening line of The Best of Eternal Haunted Summer: A Thirteenth Anniversary Edition, poet Kim Malinowski gives a tantalizing hint of the magic in store for readers. Created in 2009 by writer and editor Rebecca Buchanan, Eternal Haunted Summer is an ezine featuring pagan, polytheistic, and witch-related writing. Embracing Greek, Celtic, Norse, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean lore, this collection showcases stories and poems of gods and goddesses, psychopomps, reptile women, necromancers, witches, fairies, immortals in disguise, monks, and even a queen bee. Settings range from ancient to modern to the future, including themes of passion, creativity, climate change, and more.
As with nearly all anthologies, some writing resonated more than others with me. That being said, there’s so much to love in this collection. There are soaring, visceral poems of fierce goddesses by Sandi Liebowitz, Gerri Leen, and Steven Klepetar and sensitive explorations of loss and transition by Shannon Connor Winward and Adele Gardner. There are clever commentaries on the magical world and its rules by Elizabeth R. McClellan and Kaye Boesme, compelling tales of action and romance by Allister Nelson and Laurence Raphael Brothers, and lush, gorgeous poetry by Kim Malinowski, Dr. Sara Cleto and Dr. Brittany Warman, and Kelly Jarvis. Among the standouts are Michaela Macha’s playful Norse myth take on Poe, “The Ravens,” and Sarah Sadie’s dark, sensuous “How to Become Queen of the Underworld.” From the opening invocation to the final ride out with Colleen Anderson’s hog-riding “The Storm Witch,” The Best of Eternal Haunted Summer is a cornucopia of enchantment.
Lissa Sloan is the author of Glass and Feathers, a novel that tells the story of Cinderella after the “happily ever after.” The Enchanted Press will publish it next February.