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Queer JMU professor writes book on global healing, PTSD and coral reefs

Crystal Graham
greg wrenn author JMU
Submitted/Photo by Matt Mendelsohn

New Dominion Bookshop will host a book talk and signing with author Greg Wrenn on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Wrenn will be speaking about his new nonfiction book, Mothership: A Memoir of Wonder and Crisis, released from Regalo Press in late March.

This in-person event is free and open to the public.

Mothership: A Memoir of Wonder and Crisis is an intimate, brave work that is not only a queer coming-of-age story, but also a deeply researched account of Greg turning to endangered coral reefs and a psychedelic rainforest tea called ayahuasca to heal from complex PTSD.

Mothership is one of the only literary accounts of coral reefs and is also the first extended mainstream literary look at ayahuasca.

Wrenn takes readers underwater to some of the most pristine coral reefs left on earth as pollution and warming oceans threaten their survival. He also shares his life-changing experiences working with ayahuasca in the Amazon and in the U.S.

A story of personal and global healing that blends memoir and science, Mothership is written with prophetic urgency and ultimately asks if doses of nature will be enough to save us before it’s too late.

Regalo Press agreed to make a donation to The Southern Environmental Law Center after publishing the book, and Wrenn has committed to donating at least 10 percent of his book profits to The Nature Conservancy.

Wrenn is a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and author of Centaur, which was awarded the Brittingham Prize.

His work has appeared in The New Republic, Al Jazeera, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.

As an associate English professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Wrenn teaches environmental literature and creative writing, weaving climate change science into literary studies.

An advanced PADI Nitrox diver, he has been exploring coral reefs around the world for more than 25 years. He lives in the mountains of Virginia with his husband and their growing family of trees.

New Dominion Bookshop is located at 404 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville.

For more information, visit ndbookshop.com.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.