“Louise Longson’s poetry explores trauma through the prism of outcast but empowered women. She moves from the predator to the survivor using the natural world or myths and folklore to create an unsettling atmosphere. Songs from the Witch Bottle makes the reader wander ‘somewhere between fear and imagination’. Longson’s singular voice and precise language turn these songs into incantations that will linger in your head for a long time.”
-Julie Irigaray, writer, teacher and researcher, author of Whalers, Witches and Gauchos (Nine Pens).
“Strange creatures lurk in the deep and dream-like waters of these poems; in a space ‘between myth and reality’. The reader is disturbed by a sense of growing menace from women overlooked or mistreated; something ancient waiting and restless.”
Deborah Alma, Emergency Poet, proprietor of The Poetry Pharmacy in Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire.
“In the depths of the Witch Bottle, Louise Longson has found the darkest of magic. These are poems that crawl from the silt, that resonate in your belly, that lure you to look where you shouldn’t. Stories from legend sit side by side with stories from the house next door, but each is told with passion, artistry and a sense of longing that is close enough to touch.”
Nina Parmenter, Forward Prize nominated poet, first collection Split, Twist, Apocalypse out in 2022 from Indigo Dreams Publishing
“Songs From the Witch Bottle is a highly-accomplished poetic journey that takes the reader through the darkest depths of trauma and onwards to a place of hope. Longson’s imagery is raw, rich and vivid; it arrests and envelops, hiding menace in the timeless world of myth as well as in the shadows of everyday life. Yet ultimately it grants us release into dreams and the wait for ‘the healing of the world’, which we feel assured will definitely come. This collection is confident and powerful, beautifully-crafted and delicately written. It deserves to be very widely read.”
Charlotte Oliver, author of How To Be A Dressing-Gown (Hybriddreich), BBC Radio York’s Saturday Poet Laureate.
Louise Longson lives in rural West Oxfordshire. She cleared enough space in her spare room and head to start writing ‘properly’ during lockdown 2020. She is published by One Hand Clapping, Fly on the Wall, Nymphs, Ekphrastic Review, Obsessed with Pipework, Indigo Dreams Publishing, The Poetry Shed and others. She is the author of the chapbooks Hanging Fire (Dreich Publications, 2021) and Songs from the Witch Bottle (Alien Buddha Press, 2022). A qualified psychotherapist, she works with historic trauma and the physical and emotional distresses caused by chronic loneliness. Lives with an orange cat and a silver-grey Yorkshireman. In her head, sky is always blue, grass always green, leaves always golden. Needs to get out more.
Songs from the Witch Bottle
A late-blooming poet, I started writing ‘with intent’ in 2020. Now aged 60, I have been widely published both in print and online. I am the author of the chapbooks Hanging Fire (Dreich Publications, 2021) and Songs from the Witch Bottle (Alien Buddha Press, 2022). I work from my home in a small rural village on the fringes of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire offering a listening service to people whose physical and emotional distress is caused by loneliness and historic trauma and abuse. My poems are inspired by bringing together her personal and work experiences, often seen through the twin prisms of myth and nature. Many of them are published here. I hope you enjoy them.