Meet Dr. Sharon Blackie

Dr Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction, and is recognised internationally for her work on cultivating the mythic imagination. She’s a mythologist with a specialisation in Celtic Studies, and a psychologist who has specialised both in neuroscience and narrative. Her unique approach to working with myth, fairy tales and folklore highlights the insights these traditions can offer us into authentic and meaningful ways of being which are founded on a return to the native wisdom traditions of the West, and on cultivating a deep sense of belonging to the places we inhabit. In early 2017 she founded The Hedge School: an online space based in Connemara, Ireland, for teachings in myth, wild mind and enchantment. She is a sought-after international teacher and lecturer.

Writing: Sharon is the author of The Long Delirious Burning Blue, a novel which the Independent on Sunday called ‘hugely potent. A tribute to the art of storytelling that is itself an affecting and inspiring story’, and which The Scotsman called ‘powerful (reminiscent of The English Patient), filmic, and achieving the kind of symmetry that novels often aspire to, but rarely reach.’ Her word-of-mouth bestselling nonfiction book If Women Rose Rooted offers up a new Heroine’s Journey for this challenging age of social and ecological crisis, and was described by novelist Manda Scott as ‘mind-blowing in the most profound and exhilarating sense … an anthem for all we could be … an essential book for this, the most critical of recent times.’ If Women Rose Rooted was a 2016 Nautilus Book Award winner. Her latest nonfiction book, The Enchanted Life, was published in February 2018. A collection of original and reimagined fairy tales about shapeshifting women, Foxfire, Wolfskin, will be published in September 2019, and Hagitude, a nonfiction book about the myths and stories of female elderhood, is scheduled for publication in spring 2021. Sharon’s writing has been published in a wide range of popular magazines and academic journals, and in 2009, she was the recipient of a yearlong ‘Creative Scotland’ writer’s award.

Teaching: Sharon leads workshops at venues in Europe and North America (working with all the major retreat centres including the Omega Institute, Esalen, the Garrison Institute, Hollyhock, and the Rowe Center), and has lectured at academic institutions as diverse as Trinity College Dublin and Pacifica Graduate Institute, California. She has performed at a number of cultural events and festivals, from the Edinburgh International Book Festival to the Dark Mountain Project’s ‘Uncivilisation’ Festival. From 2013 to 2017 Sharon was the founder and editor of EarthLines Magazine, described by Jay Griffiths as ‘a deeply intelligent publication’, by George Monbiot as ‘a rare combination and much needed’, and by Robert Macfarlane as ‘a real point of convergence for many thought-tributaries and philosophical paths’.

Personal: After several years as a crofter in the north-west of Scotland and the Outer Hebrides, Sharon returned to Ireland in 2014 and now  lives with her husband and dogs among the mountains, lakes and seaweed-strewn tidal inlets of the Connemara Gaeltacht. Here, she looks after hens and bees, and grows her own vegetables and herbs. Her experiences on the westernmost edges of the Celtic fringe give her a unique perspective on the psychology of belonging, and our entanglements with place and the wild.

Sharon is represented by Kirsty McLachlan, at David Godwin Associates.

 

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