Sophie Strand: writer and academic cross-contaminator: on the ways we can improvise in academia and beyond.
Sophie Strand is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and ecology. But it would probably be more authentic to call her a neo-troubadour animist with a propensity to spin yarns that inevitably turn into love stories.
Her first book of essays The Flowering Wand: Lunar Kings, Lichenized Lovers, Transpecies Magicians, and Rhizomatic Harpists Heal the Masculine is forthcoming in 2022 from Inner Traditions.
Her eco-feminist historical fiction reimagining of the gospels The Madonna Secret will also be published by Inner Traditions. Her books of poetry include Love Song to a Blue God (Oread Press) and Those Other Flowers to Come (Dancing Girl Press) and The Approach (The Swan). Her poems and essays have been published by Art PAPERS, The Dark Mountain Project, Poetry.org, Unearthed, Braided Way, Creatrix, Your Impossible Voice, The Doris, Persephone’s Daughters, and Entropy. She has recently finished a work of historical fiction, The Madonna Secret, that offers an eco-feminist revision of the gospels. She is currently researching her next epic, a mythopoetic exploration of ecology and queerness in the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde.
Today we speak about the importance of listening to one’s body and its unexpected ways to bring out intellectual results and eventually new academic fruits. For Sophie, storytelling was a way out of trauma and around pain and then became her academic method allowing to border-cross paradigms and fuse ideas. We ask how to create safety in these
subversive spaces? And how to confront the reactions of disapproval and discontent?
Sophie leads us through her story of following that sensory vein and shares the ways that could work for others as eager to improvise. Listen to the episode to reflect on our intellectual editing processes together.
(TW: this conversation touches on trauma and mental health).