New Release: Vincent James, “Acacia”

Vincent James

Acacia, a Book of Wonders tells the story of Petra Caldwell, the matriarch of Acacia, a new religious movement located in a densely wooded East Texas thicket. In this non-space of surreal and mystical happenings, the saints of Acacia worship birds as prophetic emblems and prepare for a prophesied end-times event known as The Commotions. All the while, Petra wrestles against the wiles set for her by her predecessor, the Prophetess Mother Salome Nightingale. Acacia, a Book of Wonders affords a unique vantage point in cult fiction: a narrative told from the perspective of the group’s leader. This affords a complex rhetorical situation as Petra justifies retributive cycles of violence, relays her own stories of trauma, and experiences crises of faith concerning her stature as Heaven’s vessel.

“Against my best judgment, I returned to the sensations of the orb. The winged chair. I could build this. This was not beyond me. The gallery in The Pear House, explaining so much hidden lore of Acacia. I would commission these portents be created by the careful brush of Mya. And the chariot, borne by vultures. I would construct this.”

From “Poisoned and Indisposed”

VINCENT JAMES lives and writes in the Driftless area of Wisconsin, where he teaches creative writing at Viterbo University. James earned a Ph.D. in English & Creative Writing from the University of Denver. His other works include the chapbook, Rady, or Squirrelhunter (Ravenna Press, 2021), and the collaborative novel, Swerve (Astrophil Press, 2021). Visit him online at

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