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Touching Creatures, Touching Spirit by Judy Grahn

Red Hen Press Presales and Broadsides

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Touching Creatures, Touching Spirit by Judy Grahn
Touching Creatures, Touching Spirit illustrates with true stories that we live in an interactive, aware world in which the creatures around us in our neighborhoods know us and sometimes reach across to us, empathically and helpfully. Implications are that all beings live in a possible “common mind” from which our mass culture has disconnected, but which is only a heartbeat and some concentrated attention away. This mind encompasses microbial life and insects as well as creatures and extends to nonmaterial intelligence as well—that is to say, spirit.

Creatures as varied as a collaborating dragonfly, ants rescuing each other, a sympathetic lizard, an empathic coyote, gift-giving squirrels, crazed birds, and lots of very mysteriously smart cats inhabit the stories.

Precognition, dreams, paranormal experiences with birds, psychic communications with cats, visitations from ghosts with messages, rolling earth spirits—not supernatural, they seem natural enough but not visible to everyone.

The intention of this book is to help people catch interactions they themselves experience with nonhuman and even disembodied beings, and who could use some support for recalling since these interactions make clear we live in a sentient world.


“Invoking the marvels of nature, these pages reveal an open secret: that the web of consciousness in which we all live is not produced by human beings alone, but by the plants and trees and animals and birds that surround us. We are in communion with dragonflies and ravens and otters and redwood trees. Read this book for its beauty and insight and because it will help us to listen more closely, which just might save us all.”
—Susan Griffin, author Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her

“With a poet’s deep inquisitiveness, Judy Grahn dares to study, imagine, and document the ways creatures communicate across species as well as the nature of consciousness itself. An enticing mix of nonfiction, fiction, and philosophy, Touching Creatures opens into a wide realm of storytelling that can only be reached with a big heart and a vast curiosity. These courageous stories insist on asking the biggest questions and bear witness to the beauty and connectedness of all creatures.”
—Lucy Jane Bledsoe, novelist and science writer, winner of two fellowships from the National Science Foundation


Judy Grahn is a poet, writer, teacher, and cultural theorist; foremother of feminist, gay, and lesbian liberation movements and of the field of women’s spirituality. Earlier nonfiction books include Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds, and Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World. Her memoir is A Simple Revolution: The Making of an Activist Poet. Two collections of her poetry from Red Hen Press, and also The Judy Grahn Reader from Aunt Lute Books, are available. In 2000, she received her PhD from the California Institute of Integral Studies, where she is Distinguished Associated Professor. In 1996, The Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction was established by Publishing Triangle in New York; in 2016, the My Good Judy art and scholar residency was established in New Orleans. Grahn’s work has been anthologized in collections from W. W. Norton & Company, Penguin Books, Penngrove, and Oxford University Press, among many others. She has received several lifetime achievement and foremother awards and has been Grand Marshall of two Gay Pride Parades. The Commonality Institute promotes her work overall, while a Metaformia journal archive at www.metaformia.org, retains articles on her Metaformic Theory. Her love of creatures and spirit is lifetime. She lives with her spouse in Palo Alto, CA.

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