Judy Grahn

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.

All Books

Touching Creatures, Touching Spirit

Judy Grahn

Publication Date: May 25, 2021

$16.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 9781597091183


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

Hanging On Our Own Bones

Judy Grahn

Publication Date: August 15, 2017

$18.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-0-9890361-3-9


Through these seven narrative poems, Grahn weaves real-life conditions with goddess mythology to construct modern interpretations of lamentation in nine parts. Song and poem lamentations have a widespread history from all over the globe and carry a wealth of forms and a few requirements–they must read well out loud, they must address current pressing issues, and they must make every attempt to be truthful. Here Grahn’s steadfast and rhythmic verse directs our eyes to crucial yet often buried tribulations of our times by critiquing white supremacy, honoring battered women, exalting the powers of menstruation, conflating all labor with birth imagery, and revealing lateral hostilities among potential allies—all in order to arouse a meaningful social critique.


“Skin, jail, butterfly, hospital, street, mother, father, blood, war: such words come alive as survivor, witness, and guide Judy Grahn uses the tried and true heart of the ballad to explore the socially unsaid and unsayable. Animated by the heroism and mythology of the everyday, and armed with attention and wisdom, she is a fierce warrior for the clarity of the human story.”—Ammiel Alcalay, author of neither wit nor gold

Hanging On Our Own Bones collects over forty years of what Judy Grahn calls her ‘ninepart poems,’ and here clearly identifies them as ‘lamentations.’ All the poets I know look upon Judy Grahn with admiration and awe, convinced that she’s leagues ahead of us, superhuman in her power and insight. But the poet of these chants of grief and frustration–and hope–is human for sure, torn by the same powerlessness and disgust at prevalent social conditions as the rest of us–it’s only that she has lightning at her command–a magic of writing that illuminates, shreds darkness like confetti, and lets us see past the end of each page, past all our histories, a magic that lets us glimpse a previously unimagined future.”—Kevin Killian, author of Impossible Princess

love belongs to those who do the feeling

Judy Grahn

Publication Date: October 15, 2008

$21.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-121-3


love belongs to those who do the feeling–an exciting collection of new and selected poetry by Judy Grahn. The book contains selections from Judy’s entire body of poetic work from “The Work of a Common Woman”, “The Queen of Wands and The Queen of Swords”, to new poems written between 1997 and 2008. Judy’s poetry is rangy and provocative. It has been written at the heart of so many of the important social movements of the last forty years that the proper word is foundational–Judy Grahn’s poetry is foundational to the spirit of movement. People consistently report that Judy’s poetry is also uplifting–an unexpected side effect of work that is aimed at the mind as well as the heart. Judy continues to insist that love goes beyond romance, to community, and that community goes beyond the everyday world, to the connective worlds of earth and spirit.