Poems / May 16, 2024

An Inn for the Coven

Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Witch hazel going wild along the
walkway. And all the spots to sit
and read our spell books. And all
the ways to keep them out. Two
black cats and a beaver who eats
carrots all day. Every room an
upper room even on the ground
floor. And bee boxes in the way
way back. And the sweet man who
comes to keep them. All our loves
are witches too. Or warlocks. All
our children and all our children.
Welcome. Water running in the
brook. Clean enough to drink from
our hands. And seven sources. And
a deep well. All for us and all for
those we bring over. Four swings in
the branches. A library in every
hollow. And birds. So many birds
we stop trying to name them. We’ll
just let them be with their own
names. Maybe they’ll tell us.
Porches. Tomatoes in the summer
and pumpkins in the fall. And curry
leaves and curry blossoms. Jasmine
in the rooms at night. All loves
protected. All of us playing
cribbage on the lawn.


(This poem originally appeared in You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World.)

Dear reader,

I hope you enjoyed the article you just read. It’s just one of the many deeply-reported and boundary-pushing stories we publish everyday at The Nation. In a time of continued erosion of our fundamental rights and urgent global struggles for peace, independent journalism is now more vital than ever.

As a Nation reader, you are likely an engaged progressive who is passionate about bold ideas. I know I can count on you to help sustain our mission-driven journalism.

This month, we’re kicking off an ambitious Summer Fundraising Campaign with the goal of raising $15,000. With your support, we can continue to produce the hard-hitting journalism you rely on to cut through the noise of conservative, corporate media. Please, donate today.

A better world is out there—and we need your support to reach it.

Onwards,

Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editorial Director and Publisher, The Nation

Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart, Apocalyptic Swing (a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize), and Rocket Fantastic, winner of the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry. Calvocoressi is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship from Stanford University; a Rona Jaffe Woman Writer’s Award; a Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa, Texas; the Bernard F. Conners Prize from the Paris Review; and a residency from the Civitella di Ranieri Foundation, among others. Calvocoressi’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in numerous magazines and journals including the New York Times, Poetry, the Kenyon Review, Tin House, and the New Yorker. Calvocoressi teaches at UNC Chapel Hill and lives in Old East Durham, North Carolina, where joy, compassion, and social justice are at the center of their personal and poetic practice. Calvocoressi was the Beatrice Shepherd Blane Fellow at the Harvard-Radcliffe Institute for 2022–2023.

More from The Nation

A scene from “Evil Does Not Exist”.

The Inhuman Gaze of “Evil Does Not Exist” The Inhuman Gaze of “Evil Does Not Exist”

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s new film, an eco-thriller set in a sylvan Japanese town, explores the messy entanglements of human, machine, and nature that make up planetary existence.

Books & the Arts / Phoebe Chen

Nation Poetry

Royal Pardon Royal Pardon

A female welder. Circa 1930s–1940s.

A Sweeping History of the Black Working Class A Sweeping History of the Black Working Class

By focusing on the Black working class and its long history, Blair LM Kelley’s book, Black Folk, helps tell the larger story of American democracy over the past two and a half cen...

Books & the Arts / Robert Greene II

Joni Mitchell being interviewed in 1972 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Seeing Ourselves in Joni Mitchell Seeing Ourselves in Joni Mitchell

Ann Powers’s deeply personal biography of Joni Mitchell looks at how a generation of listeners came to identify with the folk singer’s intimate songs.

Books & the Arts / David Hajdu

Central Park Tower, One57, and 111 West 57th Street, 2022.

What’s the Deal With Manhattan’s Pencil-Thin High Rises? What’s the Deal With Manhattan’s Pencil-Thin High Rises?

A walk along 57th Street.

Books & the Arts / Karrie Jacobs

A splitscreen image of a headshot of author Essie Chambers alongside the cover of her debut novel, Swift River.

A New Novel Explores How to Develop Black Identity in the Absence of Black Culture A New Novel Explores How to Develop Black Identity in the Absence of Black Culture

In Essie Chambers’s debut novel, Swift River, protagonist Diamond Newberry finds ways to fill the gaps in her family tree.

Kali Holloway