The Poetry Project: Elise Matthesen
poetry project

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice. Fuck around and find out.

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April 14, 2016

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Elise Matthesen

Elise Matthesen

Elise Matthesen

Elise Matthesen lives in Minnesota , surrounded by beads, metal, words, music, and people she loves. She’s been a professional jewelry artist for almost two decades. Her named jewelry pieces have inspired others to write novels, poems and short stories; one of them, “Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear, won the Hugo award for Best Short Story in 2008.  Matthesen was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 2009 “for setting out to inspire and for serving as inspiration for works of poetry, fantasy, and SF over the last decade through her jewelry-making and her ‘artist’s challenges’.”  She has Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, hearing loss,  arthritis, attitude, ingenuity, numerous publication credits, and many pairs of pliers. 

Lady of the Lake

Body of water
Body of work
“A body of collected knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing”

Call it a healing ritual
Or a mercy fuck, whichever you like.
Corporal act of mercy — that sounds nice

It was on an afternoon woven of equal parts
Sunlight, aimlessness and proscribed botanicals
A young hero in need
As they often are,
Of a body of collected knowledge
A body of work

Read the rest at Goblin Fruit.

When I read this poem at Goblin Fruit, I was just blown away by it–voice is such a tricky thing to talk about and it’s one of the things people blather on about if they don’t really know what to say about a work, but–the voice in this poem is so clearly the same voice that comes out in the names of the jewelry that Matthesen makes.  So I went looking for other things she’d written and to my surprise, what I was able to find was also all very, very, very Elise.

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