Browning, Annah Laura
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Witch Doctrine is a collection of Gothically-influenced persona poems, written in the voices of a cast of folkloric and literary figures, most prominently witches and ghosts. Through engaging with persona and other conventions of the dramatic monologue, these outsider and archetypal speakers reference the literary tradition in which they reside—particularly the Gothic characters of the lingering ghost, the dangerous outsider, and the liminal woman—while going beyond expected and often sexist stereotypes of these characters. Instead of being objects of pure horror, pity, or misguided moralizing, these often-supernatural speakers are humorous, sly, and powerful ambassadors into the very real experiences of depression, loss, and disconnection from hegemonic forms of societal safety and meaning.