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Emily Mundy Really, Really Likes Dead Flowers

Poet Emily Mundy, Co-Author of the Dark Days Tarot Guidebook

Emily Mundy is a magical human being. She can whip you a poem sure to whet your appetite for expansion. She can pull full-on mental models from Tarot cards. She can sling you a delicious libation, and she's a damn. good. friend.

I'm eternally grateful to Emily for her collaboration in writing the Dark Days Tarot Guidebook, for which she wrote card, number, and suit descriptions. I'm continuously inspired by her the Dark Moon Musings she writes for this blog. She's also allowing me to draw pictures for her in-progress chapbook, Funeral Fauna, a project I'm super excited about.

Get to know Emily a little better:

What are you wearing right now?

Baggy, black denim jeans and a dark blue corduroy button up that used to be my mother’s.

List five things you like, and five things you dislike.

I (really, really) like used bookstores, flowers of all kinds (alive and dead), old cemeteries, the wildly supportive and inspiring relationship I have with my chosen family, and calvados; I (really, really) dislike big corporations bulldozing small businesses, ketchup, [insert all things surrounding the patriarchy/misogyny/the general trash fire that is our political climate here], poorly executed horror films (you’re giving the good ones a bad rep!), and vodka.

Where can folks find you and your work?

I have just recently begun submitting my poetry to various journals/magazines, and am at the very beginning of my journey toward being published! So for now, you can find me for coffee and a creative chat via email, and I hope to have two chapbooks out this year as well as a smattering of publications. Stay tuned please.

Tell us a story from your childhood.

When I was eight and my sister was nine, we were romping around a long stretch of boulders that extended out into the breakwater off the shore of our little beach town, around sunset. She dared me to jump over this—pretty gaping, for an eight-year-old—hole between two boulders, and I did. I didn’t make it across, and fell down the hole into the tide water, and couldn’t get back out. She panicked and went to get my dad from the car about a half mile back, and I waited a little under an hour while it was getting dark with a badly scraped chin and limbs for them to come get me. At one point, an old couple with fishing poles discovered me and asked if I needed help. Panicked, I said no, and they said okay—and left! In retrospect, I think this story is so funny and I’m thrilled it happened to me.

Who/what inspires you (pick the first name/concept that comes to mind), and why?

At the end of last year, I read Mindy Netifee’s Glitter in the Blood: A Poet’s Manifesto for Better, Braver Writing. This manifesto not only blasted me off creatively, but also reminded me why poetry guides my way of living. I highly recommend this book to any artist. Also. Amanda Palmer is my hero. Her relationship to Art and her ferocity to create for/with her supporters/the Patreon inspires me every day.

I know you have two cats. Tell the audience about your boys?

Henry is my all black, alien-green eyed, very creepy but very loyal cat. He sits with me every early morning when I read and have my coffee. Quentin is Henry’s very sweet, very derpy brother… it remains unabashedly obvious that I have a favorite.

Tell us about the ‘Funeral Fauna’ project you’re developing.

Funeral Fauna will shape up to be a collaborative chapbook, with obituary-like meditations (in poem form) on the drying/dying processes of my flower bouquets, their origins, lives, and significances, with accompanying illustrations by Wren. Through these faunas, I am exploring ideas of preservation, reverence, and the energetic lines between what is living/what is not. This collection was inspired by a dream I had about a flower mill, and I have recently discovered, is very much about my mother.

How would you categorize your work, or rather, what is your specialty?

I write poetry, primarily, but I have a fondness of and inclination toward prose, too. My writing practice as an adult blossomed in the spoken word community, which underlies a bulk of my work in tone. These days, I am fiercely interested in device and what the poem does on the page, and marrying that to the poem’s musical undercurrent.

What inspires you about the Tarot?

I am endlessly inspired by the Tarot’s mystical way of getting to the meat of things, of guiding me to think differently, of altering my tangible and spiritual perspectives. I utilize the Tarot for clarification and inspiration in both my personal life and my writing practice.

Do you identify as a ‘witch?’ Why or why not?

Though I am an intensely ritualistic person, I do not identify as a witch. I consider that identity-term to be very sacred and meant to be claimed by those who practice witchery, specifically. My spiritual practices are innately personalized and draw from a span of my own experiences, aligning more with the identity of poet and writer than anything else.

If you had a million bucks to give to any justice cause, which would you choose?

Environmental restoration and protection. This planet needs us as much as we need each other.

'Funeral Fauna' illustration for Emily Mundy | by Wren McMurdo

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