Issue #13: Dead and Alive: Being with Ancestors

I, now, refuse to see Earth as anything less than our common place of divine habitation. We can begin to tell our own stories of crucifixion and resurrection.

Terry Tempest Williams, Erosion: Essays of Undoing

Snake: “Nothing is lost. We still serve, in ways you can only see through your heart. When an animal or a people become extinct, they serve as ancestors. … [T]heir participation is still woven into Life’s inner fabric.”

Andrea Mathieson, The Book of Snake (forthcoming)

The next few issues of Dark Matter will be devoted to ancestors: to beings, both human and nonhuman, who were precious to us and whom we have lost due to disease, injury, environmental harm or natural causes. Our intention is to prioritize beings whose presence in the world and/or whose relationship with us contributed in some way to the healing of our relationship with the earth. We are also looking for a particular form of witnessing, one which acknowledges both, as Snake says, that no being is ever truly lost and also that we deeply grieve the beings who are no longer with us in this realm.

This is an invitation to remember and resurrect these beings in such a way as to make them present for our readers: to write, speak, paint, photograph, move, sing and dance on behalf of and with them. Photos, artwork, videolinks are all welcome. We will accept writing of all lengths, within our 5,000 word maximum, and may decide to post shorter submissions on Facebook in the interval before the issue appears.

Deadline: June 25, 2021


Dark Matter: Women Witnessing publishes writing and visual art created in response to an age of massive species loss and ecological collapse. It is a home for dreams, visions, and communications with the nonhuman world, especially those with messages for how we might begin to heal our broken relationship to the earth. We welcome writing in all forms and genres as well as artwork in all mediums. All poetry and fiction must be accompanied by notes bridging to the journal’s mission. Context and commentary are required for dreams, visions, and other communications. We welcome submissions by women and nonbinary writers and artists.

Our new column, Aftermath 11/9, features dreams, visions, nightmares or communications with nonhuman beings that respond in some way to this era of escalating danger and darkness—and ideally provide clarity and/or guidance. Commentary is required.

In AfterWords, writers offer responses to books, films, artwork, cultural events—not necessarily current ones—that they feel make an important contribution to our mission. Responses can be creative—the work may serve as a springboard for the writer’s own reflections—and they can be as brief or as long as they need to be, within our 5,000-word limit.

  • Submissions in French and German welcome; we will provide translation.
  • 5,000 word limit
  • Send as MS Word doc or, for graphics, send a Jpg file (up to 250ppi)
  • Send your copy to:
    * Written materials should be sent as one document. *

If after looking through the current issue, and reading the above submission guidelines, you still have questions about what we publish or how to submit, please click here.

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Editor: Lise Weil
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