by Katherine Factor
Where else to begin but in the voice of Valentina Pavlovna, a Female and Fungi pioneer?
Pavlovna was a Russian who married and influenced an American banker Gordon Wasson, and together they spearheaded ethnomycology. This poem is from their wedding night, when they realized their entrenched attitudes toward the fungal world, which launched their work tracking a lexicon of mushrooms in culture —endearing us to the terms “mycophobe” and “mycophile.”
So, here is Mycophilia, (first published in the Colorado Review 2011) and remixed by audio engineer Chris Jett. Enjoy!
Enjoy, my mycophiles!
About Katherine Factor
Katherine Factor lives in Portland, Oregon where she is an instructor of writing at Concordia University and freelances. She has her MFA in Poetry from The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has recently held positions as the Poet-in-Residence at Idyllwild Arts Academy and assistant editor of inter|rupture, a journal of poetry and art. Her poems and audio work can be found online and in print at Wave Conjunctions, Interim, The Conversant, H_NGM_N, Quarterly West, Poets for Living Waters, Occupy Poetry, DIAGRAM, the Colorado Review and at Coldfront’s Poets off Poetry.