Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts


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 easy to download audio file. In this case, poet Maya Zeller, reads all the wild and feral poems in the book! Here’s a small sampling:

This book is also the focus of our 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. Our first award recipient is Rebecca Starkey of Central Washington University.

“Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts,” Tor Strand, High Desert Journal
“With ‘Alchemy for Cells,’ Spokane poet Maya Jewell Zeller finds magic in collaboration,” Carolyn Lamberson, Spokesman Review
“Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts,” Daniel Casey, Tupelo Quarterly
“This Will Not Hurt a Bit,” Michelle Runyan, Bellingham Quarterly

Additional information






6" x 9"

Publication Date

October 3, 2017