Poetry Review: The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace


Title: The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One (Women are Some Kind of Magic #2)
Author: Amanda Lovelace
Pages: 208 pages
Genre: poetry, feminism
Publication date: March 6th, 2018

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

2016 Goodreads Choice Award-winning poet Amanda Lovelace returns in the witch doesn’t burn in this one — the second book in her “women are some kind of magic” poetry series. The collection of poetry deals with heavy subjects like misogyny, abuse, body issues and rape. But also with self-love and intersectionality, all while using the imagery of witch trials to portray to oppression of women. Schermafbeelding 2018-01-19 om 16.37.24

I liked how the author used witch trials as a metaphor since the horrific events themselves are a very fitting portrayal of how women were murdered for not falling in line, to the point of being accused of being witches. It’s a recurring theme within this collection and, while every single poem is definitely it’s own work, makes it really feel like you’re reading a collection of poetry that all fit together.

I really loved some of the poems. Especially the poems in the first two chapters, called the trial and the burning, evoked emotions in me. I enjoyed the longer, slightly more complex poems. My favorites are the ones about eating disorders and body acceptance, like the one I decided to share here. 

This collection contains a lot of really small poems, sometimes just a few words on a page. I get that this is a stylistic choice, but for me, some parts of this collection felt really unfinished. Although they looked nice on the page, the tiny baby poems didn’t evoke the emotions in me that some of the more complex poems did. The shorter poems definitely fell flat for me.

This collection definitely fits in the category of vicious and unapologetically angry poetry, and while it definitely worked at times, I didn’t like the vengeance theme that was going on in some parts of the collection. I had a lot of mixed feelings. On one hand, the author was writing about reclaiming yourself, embracing your femininity and resistance, on the other hand she wrote about taking revenge on people. Unfortunately, I didn’t think the vengeance theme was all that empowering. Anger is a very beautiful, honest and natural emotion, and I liked that it was a big part of this collection, but villainizing men (which I felt like was happening at times) is not the solution.

Final rating:

3 stars

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.




6 thoughts on “Poetry Review: The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace

  1. As someone who quite liked her previous poetry book, I might pick this up! Your review definitely encouraged me to — I want to see how she deals with anger and revenge, as you put it. Thank you for a great review!


    1. I’ve never read her previous work, but this collection did make me curious, so I might end up buying it, even though this wasn’t my all-time favorite thing, it certainly wasn’t bad either!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been looking for a book of accessible and modern poetry on an interesting theme for a few weeks, actually, as I keep saying I don’t like poery and I’ve never actually given it a try.

    Maybe I’ll go see if the library has this collection, as it sounds like exactly what I’m after. Thanks! 🙂


    1. Awesome! It’s definitely modern and accessible, and if this subject is also your jam I’m like 95% sure you’ll love this! I was definitely in the minority with my 3-star rating on Goodreads as well, most people rated it at least a 4. I hope you’ll like it. 🙂


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