It’s no secret that Denver is highly recognized for its great music, food, beer and entertainment of all kinds, and is becoming more so every day. But Denver is also an amazing place for literature.
Naropa University is in Boulder, home to the famous Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. CU Boulder has a great creative writing program, and Denver is home to, as well as a stopping place for, lots of amazing authors. Some of the latest and greatest literary sorceresses to hit the scene are the ladies behind Witch Craft Magazine, an innovative new literary publication that combines the ideas of feminism, queer identity, safe spaces, magick and poetry to create something truly unique.
303 caught up with the two women behind the mag, Elle Nash and Catch Business, to get the scoop on poetry, free expression and unleashing your inner witch.
1. The mag is all about being a safe space that encourages free expression.
When Business and Nash started the mag, they wanted to make sure it was all about being inclusive and a safe space for all genders, orientations, styles and voices.
“I really wanted to start a zine, or somehow get more involved in the lit community and was really into the idea of creating that safe space,” Nash explained. “Witch Craft was perfect because witches are generally seen as outcasts from society, people who need those safe spaces. Normally the word is spelled ‘witchcraft’ but I thought separating it out as ‘witch craft’ was really cool because it puts specific focus on the ‘craft’ of creating.”
2. Everyone can be a witch.
The ladies also believe that the power of the witchery is within all of us, regardless of gender or actual magic practices. Business explains that she thinks of everyone as a modern which, and Nash adds that magic can manifest in everything we do.
“To me it’s about the ritual in everyday life,” she explained.
3. Witch Craft is excited about all types of literature.
The women of Witch Craft also read all types of stuff, and welcome it in with open arms to be a part of their mag.
“I feel like my relationships to other writers are just that, relationships, and I can’t put one above the other,” explained Business. “I interact with the text the same way I’d interact with a friend I’m making dinner for. I read a little bit of everything, the same way I talk to a handful of different people throughout the day”
She explains that Issue 1 is centered around the magical holiday Mabon, which coincides with the release date of the mag. Issue 2 will focus on the spring Equinox, in keeping with the group’s pagan themes.
4. The first issue is out now and full of awesome stuff, and there’s even a party for it.
Intrigued? The first issue just came out, and the editors are throwing a release party on Thursday, October 8 to celebrate. The release party will take place at Syntax: Physic Opera on South Broadway. There will be food, drink and music by local band Ratfuck. Kelly Thompson, Heather Goodrich and Corey Dahl, three writers featured in the mag, will also be reading their work.
5. Witch Craft is just one part of the awesome literary scene in Denver.
“I’ve found myself surprised by the amount that goes on here as well as the warmth of the community,” said Business. “It’s always cool to check out the Leon Affair, hosted by Sommer Browning. And I’m really excited about Counterpath opening up again. It was also amazing to find out that some of my favorite small presses have editors here in Denver while Witch Craft boothed at the inaugural Denver Small Press Fest, which was an event that overwhelmed me with positivity.”
“I kinda feel like it’s ‘underground’ because I found it impossible to hear about readings or events until I actually started reaching out and meeting other writers,” added Nash. “I had this impression that the lit scene here was pretty rigid, but the more people I actually meet, the less I find that to be true. We have some amazing poets and authors here and I am trying to spend more time getting to know all of these talented people.”
All photos courtesy of Witch Craft mag