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How to be a Tarot Card (or a Teenager) Book Launch

October 20, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm


Join Jennifer A McGowan as she celebrates the launch of her second full poetry collection, How to be a Tarot Card (or A Teenager) hosted in collaboration with Arachne Press


Taking one of the major Arcana of Tarot as the starting point for each of the poems, Jennifer A McGowan explores the joys and angst of adolescence, her father’s falling out with the military, and many other themes in between.

The tarot has been used to play games since the 15th century. Since that time each card has also accumulated meanings. By the 18th century the tarot was used for divination or for oracular purposes, much like the Delphic oracles of old. Nowadays the trumps, or major arcana, are believed to chronicle, symbologically, the journey of the Fool through life.

How to be a Tarot Card (or a Teenager) explores, exploits, and sometimes downright twists the major arcana and the meanings they have accumulated, in the order in which the many hundreds of tarot decks now travelling the world present them. The Star, connoting hope, exists simultaneously as metaphor and feral dog; the rebirth nestled inside the Death card becomes female friendship and escape from patriarchal binds.

To revise means to re-see. These poems are revisionist, for what is poetry but a way of seeing, and what is the poet except the fool playing games, chronicling their journey?


@arachnepress @JAMcGowan_Poet

This launch takes place at Oxford Poetry Library in The Community Works

Free! We encourage you to buy a book or two, of course, otherwise what would be the point? You can preorder a book to pick up if you like. Jennifer will be very happy to sign them for you.

There will be refreshments including a home made cake, and we recommend you consider booking a table at Lula’s before or after!

Accessible venue – step free via side entrance


October 20, 2022
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm


Arachne Press
View Organizer Website


The Community Works
21 Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HH United Kingdom
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