Winter is Not Coming: A Conversation with Kate Wolford


We sat down with Kate Wolford for a long-distance discussion about—well, about the weather, and how it shapes the stories we tell.

Folktales: Three Monsters


It’s another grim and heartbreaking day in the world. We’ve had too many of these lately, and Friday 13 seems particularly bitter and bitterly pointless. Other, better, more eloquent writers can tell you what’s happening, and give some shape to the numb weariness that overtakes us. Today, we want to celebrate life as usual, the ordinary everyday, boring days when nothing remarkable happens and good days when something hilarious happens.

A Scots Halloween

Scottish Halloween Image

In honour of the season, here for your reading enjoyment is an eerie Scots ballad by George MacDonald.

Scottish Halloween Matchmaking

Scottish Halloween

All Hallows’ Eve has long cultivated folk rituals and folktales of all varieties.

A Week Away


John is taking the week off. But don’t worry you can still get your weekly fix of Folklore goodness.

Mid-Autumn Folktale: Moon, Rabbit, and Fox

Chang-e 1

The Mid-autumn festival in China venerates 嫦娥 (Cháng’é), the moon goddess. Like the rituals in last week’s post, the folktales about her reflect the season’s liminality and uncertainties, as she moves from mortality to immortality, from living on earth to living on the moon.

Mid-autumn festivals


Autumn is a liminal season, and so we turn to festivals that celebrate limninal spaces: summer and winter, birth and death, wandering and belonging, time past and time future, heaven and hell.

Two Folktales

Walking by the Phoenix Photograph by Kenny Louie.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been pondering here about stories that speak from wounded, devastated earth—that come out of a place of suffering together with the world we inhabit.

Earth Friendly?


“The world is made of dirt. A rock doesn’t have feelings.” The flaccid man in the documentary glared out of …
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The Light-Giving Tree


As I was working on research for something else entirely, I stumbled upon a collection of Monguor folktales, collected from …
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Unsettling Wonder

We craft and tell stories because we’ve stood on the uncertain edge between the waking world and our imagination, between enchantment and fear. And we remember other stories that help us build our own stories, scraps of lumber and fragments of narrative we gather together to make stories for ourselves.


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Artwork by Laura Rae