Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This is my favorite book of poetry on our shelves, by a local writer matched so well with a local illustrator for a surreal but comforting brew. 

Maya works the subtle anxieties of women with physical ailment, working the complex chemistry of a body and of surroundings. I drank up her earthy, smoky spells while healing from surgery myself.

— From Michelle


Poetry. Women's Studies. Ecopoetics. ALCHEMY FOR CELLS & OTHER BEASTS charts a course into magical waters, anchoring itself in the frightening politicization of a woman's body. The chemistry of this conversation between Spokane Poet, Maya Jewell Zeller, and Seattle artist, Carrie DeBacker, includes pomegranates for human heads, bones that can walk, and a ship sprung from a person's back, floating farther from shore. The speaker in these incantations, behind these urgent watercolors, muses on the philosophies of geologic time, climate change, human genomes, and existential destruction. This book sets out to discover meaning in this terrible, beautiful time--and suggests wonder is where we'll find it: the diagnosis is strong / for the wild & wind mills. We are proud to bring out this troubling work of eco-feminism in gorgeous full color. It may well be the most colorful poetry book you buy all year, but don't be fooled, it's an intense work of anxiety in an age of political and environmental upheaval. As per all of our books, it comes with an audio download of the poet reading many of the poems. This book is also the focus of Entre R os Books' first ERB Emerging Visions Filmmaker Award, which provides a stipend to a woman filmmaker in a Washington State High School or College program to work with our collaborators on the creation of a short film inspired by their work. The publisher's first award recipient is Rebecca Starkey of Central Washington University; her film will be posted on September 16, 2017.

In ALCHEMY FOR CELLS & OTHER BEASTS, the world is turned inside out, its intricacies examined, like barnacles on a sea shell, in these fantastical, terrifying dealings with feminist anxieties. These surreal poems and artwork depict women under siege, under water, interpreting the myriad evolutions of mind and body...These poems are science and fairytale. They are heart flowers and 'heart poisons.'--Jennifer Givhan.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780997395730
ISBN-10: 0997395737
Publisher: Entre Rios Books
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Pages: 68
Language: English