Fungal: Foraging in the Urban Forest
June 4, 2024
250 pages | ISBN 978-1-989496-92-3
Fungal is a wide-ranging collection from Ariel Gordon where she explores her fascination with all mushrooms, not just those you can eat. In these engaging essays she takes the reader through ditches and puddles in search of morels, through the hallways of a mushroom factory, down city sidewalks and beside riverbanks as she considers things found and fungal. Along the way there are entertaining stories of the perils of mushroom identification, including mailed mushrooms that have liquefied, or terrifying thoughts of Canadian geese being fed hallucinogenic mushrooms as well as thoughtful analysis of the ways mushrooms knit our ecosystems together and the ways we knit our lives and communities together. Smart, funny and poetic, Gordon moves seamlessly from the natural world to the personal in these essays, examining the interconnectedness of all things and delighting in the rich variety of the world around her.
Ariel Gordon (she/her) is a Winnipeg/Treaty 1 Territory–based writer, editor and enthusiast. She is the ringleader of Writes of Spring, a National Poetry Month project with the Winnipeg International Writers Festival that appears in the Winnipeg Free Press. Her previous work of nonfiction, Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests, was shortlisted for the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. Gordon’s essay “Red River Mudlark” was second-place winner of the 2022 Kloppenburg Hybrid Grain Contest in Grain Magazine and other work appeared recently in FreeFall, Columba Poetry, Canthius and Canadian Notes & Queries. Gordon’s fourth collection of poetry, Siteseeing: Writing nature & climate across the prairies, was written in collaboration with Saskatchewan poet Brenda Schmidt and appeared in fall 2023.