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160 Pages, 6.0 x 8.0

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $18.00 (US $18.00) (CA $20.00)

Publication Date: March 2024

ISBN 9781771668736

Rights: WOR X CA

Book*hug Press (Mar 2024)


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From award-winning writer Johanna Skibsrud, Medium shares the lives and perspectives of women who—in their roles as biological, physical, or spiritual mediums—have helped to shape the course of history.

Helen of Troy, Anne Boleyn, Shakuntala Devi, Hypatia of Alexandria, Marie Curie: Medium interprets the voices of women vilified over time, silenced by famous husbands, forced into sex work, or wrongly accused. Reckoning with the dominant historical narratives of each woman’s era, Skibsrud underscores the power of poetry to bring about new formulations for understanding the relationship between past and present, self and other.

These deeply resonant and performative poems use language as a bridge across experience, sensibility, and time. Each exploration begins with a brief vignette inspired by the “vidas” that once began manuscripts of the troubadours. Both vidas and poems provide lyrical reinterpretations of real and imagined elements in the lives of scholars, scientists, computer engineers, mystics, entrepreneurs, artists, nurses, and other leaders.


“The structure of Medium is fascinating…Skibsrud skillfully weaves these narrative notes with lyrical persona poems that act as mediums themselves, giving voice to women like Marie Curie, Clytemnestra, Sojourner Truth, Rachel Carson, and others.” —Poetry Foundation

"Readers will delight and be haunted by the invocation of the ‘divine feminine,’ of the creative birthing essence, of who exists across time, where the past eats the tail of the future, inside the unequivocal vocalizations of ‘wave that never breaks.”—Annie Guthrie, author of The Good Dark

“The accumulation of voices in Skibsrud’s Medium serves to reclassify individuality, offering a choral refuge and a devotion to a larger field of inquiry. Readers will delight and be haunted by the invocation of the ‘divine feminine.’" —Annie Guthrie, author of The Good Dark

Author Biography

JOHANNA SKIBSRUD is the author of multiple poetry collections and books—including the Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning novel, The Sentimentalists. An Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Arizona, Johanna divides her time between Tucson, Arizona, and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.