Rebecca Bratten Weiss is a writer, educator, eco-grower, and activist.
She is the author of Mud Woman, a collaborative chapbook with Joanna Penn Cooper (Dancing Girl Press, 2018). Her creative work has been published in Two Hawks Quarterly, The Cerurove, Lycan Valley Press Publications, Figroot Press, Jesus the Imagination, Convivium, US Catholic, Poetry Pacific, Connecticut River Review, Ethel Zine, and On the Seawall. She is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee.
Her essays have appeared in The Green Room, The Tablet, The Blog of the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, Human Life Review, Delta Epsilon Sigma, US Catholic, Good Letters, and at her Patheos column, Suspended in her Jar
She has spoken at various academic and cultural events on topics ranging from Nietzsche's aesthetics and Bronte's feminism, to ecology in literature and vulgarity in religion.
Rebecca recently completed work on The Dirt, an eco-feminist novel exploring the impact of the fracking industry on a dysfunctional Ohio family.
She is also in the process of revising The Peacemakers, a speculative literary sci-fi in which women in a near-future matriarchy control men via advanced AI technology.
She is a member of the George Sandinistas, and one of the founders of the Muse Writers Collective.
Rebecca is available for out-of-town speaking engagements.
Speaking fees: she asks that travel, lodging, and food be covered; beyond that, she negotiates based on your budget and her convenience.
She is available to speak on literature, women's issues, and eco-issues, as well as to do readings, and participate in literary panels.
To book Rebecca, fill out the form on the "contact" page.
The year’s at an end, and thirty-three starlings perched
on a dead tree make a picture in black and white. Me in
one corner, and in the other the tree, like scenes in
movies where birds are about to feast on corpses.
I didn’t actually count the starlings; they rose together
in a cloud, too fast, but thirty-three seems like a good
number. The age Jesus was when they nailed him to a
tree, and if a rich man hadn’t lent his tomb the birds
would have eaten his eyes out, sweet as jelly.
But then, if Eve hadn’t eaten that fruit, whatever it was,
probably a mango, there’d be no death-trees, no crows to
eat your eyes. All her fault, her husband said, but it’s hard
to say no to a talking snake. Maybe Adam couldn’t even
hear the snake, but Eve was a Parseltongue. Talking to the
beasts: can you believe it, the funny things he calls us?
Or maybe she was so surprised, because up til then she’d
had only Adam to talk to, and he would be going on and
on about his body, touch it, isn’t it beautiful, never guess
it was made of dust, would you? Or maybe about her body,
never guess that was my rib in there, eh, girlie? And then
along comes this serpent saying, look, you could know
things, you could be like god, the one who shaped the dust
and tore the rib from the man’s side.
Later scriptures would say, be like God, and forget that Eve
was the first to try it. They got her for it in the end. Blamed
her like they blamed Helen for the fall of Troy. I like to think
of her sinking her teeth into that mango, juice running down
her chin, body prepared to make men from dirt, like god did.
The year’s at an end and I’m looking at those birds, feeling
like an ancient seer, drawing my black cloak around me,
winged in the field, thinking it’s time to start new things.
Maybe a new cult, honoring Eve for eating that mango,
giving us all the chance to know.
If they could they’d blame the death of god on her, too, but
men did that, for thirty pieces of silver, for revenge, for fear,
running off into the night while beside the tree the women
gathered in their dark robes like starlings, flapping their wings
to keep the death birds from plucking out the eyes of god.
(published Convivium 3, 2018)