Skip to product information
1 of 1

Belle Point Press

Spellbook for the Sabbath Queen

Spellbook for the Sabbath Queen

Regular price $23.00 CAD
Regular price Sale price $23.00 CAD
Sale Sold out

Spellbook for the Sabbath Queen, by Elisheva Fox

How can we build meaningful lives within limits beyond our control? Spellbook for the Sabbath Queen explores this question across several themes: intimate relationships, religious belief, and our own longings for home. The Gulf Coast and East Texas landscapes provide a vivid backdrop for navigating a world in which the speaker of these poems seeks authentic connection, while Jewish mysticism provides a tradition that grounds her own grief in a community long acquainted with exile and isolation. Part psalter, part Sapphic verse, this debut collection evokes the spirit of Emily Dickinson while calling the reader to prayer for a life fully lived.

Elisheva Fox is a poet with roots firmly planted in Texan soil. A finalist for the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, she has also been nominated for Best of the Net; her work has appeared in Rust + Moth, Paper Brigade, Strange Horizons, and Sand Hills Literary Magazine, among others. This is her first collection of poems.

Praise for Spellbook for the Sabbath Queen:

“Reverent, irreverent, honest, erotic, and ethereal, these tkhines for the Divine feminine are essential to forming a new language and imagination to make the world anew. This is heartbreaking, authentic poetry full of introspection. And it’s necessary—now.”

—Michael W. Twitty, author of The Cooking Gene

“In Fox’s dazzling confessional verse, Jewish, pagan, and queer identities mingle without apology. This book of spells is also a book of longing, an act of inscribing the poet’s long-submerged but vital sense of self. Here, we do not wait for the Shabbat Bride to knock—she is always and already with us.”

—AJ Odasso, author of The Sting of It and The Pursued and the Pursuing

"To read Fox’s work is to enter an honest and open exploration of the most intimate parts of ourselves and the knowledge—and beauty—that blooms there. From spiritual longing to longing for a friendship to become something deeper to a glorious exploration of Sappho’s vocabulary of flowers, these stunning poems travel the length of the rainbowed arc connecting all who dare to be who they truly are. These poems speak not just to the necessity of living in full honesty but also its beauty, in which even sorrow has its place: 'after all, / you might never have seen / the rainbows crowding your heart / without the bleak help of / clouds.'"

—Emma Bolden, author of The Tiger and the Cage: A Memoir of a Body in Crisis

"The poems of Spellbook for the Sabbath Queen by Elisheva Fox are oceanic—not only in the sense of their emotional generosity, but in how they carry the ocean in their being: wave-crashing, salt-aired, at times iridescent. While reckoning with the weight of religious forms and the place of queer desire in personal history, the speaker locates their own blessing in the confession: 'but as it turns out, / the heart is a buoyant thing.' How they lift the reader with their ocean magic, these poems. How they make space for queer love and witchery inside the living frameworks of Judaism, parenthood, and marriage."
—Han VanderHart, author of What Pecan Light

“Elisheva Fox’s debut collection, Spellbook for the Sabbath Queen, is a song that wakes us in the darkness. Full of heartache and yearning, these poems of faith and family and desire dive like large birds beneath oil slick rainbows on the Gulf, fishing for the forbidden. The speaker’s ribs crack under the stress of blooming violets, while ‘our plumbing [is] ruptured’ and we do our best not to drown. Fox’s poems are haunting in their tenderness, a ‘spotted fawn’ that ‘trembles in the long grass,’ but are not content to stay hidden. Her mourning for what has yet to be claimed is counterbalanced by the gleam of the wolf’s smile after biting a husband’s hand or the witch that asks us to stop wasting her time. Fox suggests we are all within the curve of aorta and spray of ventricles, impatient for transformation.”

—Jared Beloff, author of Who Will Cradle Your Head

Read a review in ANMLY.

Review in Spectrum South

Listen to an interview with Fox at the ISJL (Institute of Southern Jewish Life).

Spellbook is a 2023-2024 pick for the Jewish Women's Archive Book Club!

JWA Interview

Review at Jewish Book Council


    • Publication Date: May 2, 2023
    • Trim size: 6x9 inches
    • 94 pages
    • ISBN: 978-1-960215-00-0

Want more Belle Point poetry? Check out the subscription option here!

View full details