A Meeting of the Medusas

Last week Kathryn Smith and I talked with Sharma Shields at Wishing Tree Books about Medusas — both in terms of her ecopoetic, cephalopedic interests in her book Still Life with Cephalopod and mine with fierce, defiant sea witches like the mythic Medusa in The Witch of Eye. It was a really fun conversation and you can still watch it here:


To prepare for this event, Kat and I put together a little book list of titles that have inspired our thinking about Medusas. If you also can’t ever get your fill of sea creatures &/ witches, ecopoetics &/ defiant resistance, order a few of these directly from Wishing Tree:

For Kids:

Becoming a Good Creature, Sy Montgomery
My Name is Medusa, Glenys Livingstone
Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World, Jane Yolen
Wing & Claw series, Linda Sue Park
Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science, Jeannine Atkins
The Serpent Slayer & Other Stories of Strong Women, Katrin Tchana


The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith
Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
The Cassandra by Sharma Shields
Trinity Sight by Jennifer Givhan


Observations by Marianne Moore
Vantage by Taneum Bambrick
HoodWitch, Faylita Hicks
Witch Wife, Kiki Petrosino
Ram Hands by Ellen Welcker
Cold Pastoral by Rebecca Dunham
Alchemy for Cells and Other Beasts by Maya Jewell Zeller


H. D. Notes on Thought and Vision and Sea Garden
Pedagogies of Crossing: Meditations on Feminism, Sexual Politics, Memory, and the Sacred, M. Jacqui Alexander
White Magic, Elissa Washuta
Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Donna J. Haraway
World of Wonders, Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Published by Kathryn Nuernberger

Kathryn Nuernberger's latest books are THE WITCH OF EYE (Sarabande), an essay collection about witches and witch trials coming out in February 2021, and RUE (BOA, 2020), a collection of poems about plants historically used for birth control and pissed off feelings about patriarchal bullshit. The End of Pink (BOA 2016) won the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Her collection of lyric essays is Brief Interviews with the Romantic Past (The Ohio State University Press, 2017). A recipient of fellowships from the NEA, American Antiquarian Society, Bakken Museum of Electricity in Life, H. J. Andrews Research Forest, She teaches in the creative writing program at University of Minnesota. Recent work appears in 32 Poems, Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, Gulf Coast, Paris Review, The Southern Review, and Waxwing.

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