Abstract Lines


“Lara Messersmith-Glavin’s essays are simultaneously thrilling and insightful as she solemnizes the objects from her youth on an Alaskan fishing boat. She masterfully illuminates the sacred in nets and winches, in salmon, skiffs and waves in this beautifully crafted collection. I was awe struck.”

—Liz Prato, author of Volcanoes, Palm Trees, and Privilege: Essays on Hawai’i

“Many fishing memoirs are filled with high seas drama, but Messersmith-Glavin focuses instead on what Blake called the 'luminous details' as revealed in the 'spirit things' she chooses to carry her story, objects as seemingly mundane as a glove and as complex as a wave. Spirit Things will appeal to anyone who’s fallen hard for Alaska and wants to be reminded what they love—and miss—about wilderness, fishing, and those who are drawn to the far North.”

—Holly J. Hughes, author of Hold Fast, Passings, and Sailing by Ravens

"Spirit Things takes readers into the depths of a life growing up on the ocean among deckhands and danger on an Alaskan commercial fishing vessel. With a framework of “spirit things”—a buoy, a winch, salmon, and more, an ever-shifting life is pursed up with narratives that shape an unusual upbringing. Lara Messersmith-Glavin is indeed a child of the sea!"

—Vivian Faith Prescott, author of Old Woman with Berries in Her Lap

Review of Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency, 

edited by Kristian Williams, Will Munger,

and Lara Messersmith-Glavin:
"Together, the writers sound a sobering warning: the American government is an iron fist in a velvet glove whose purpose remains preserving the status quo and enriching the rich...it’s hard to discount the evidence presented here of heavy-handed tactics (injunctions, informants, provocateurs, mass incarceration) that have Democratic and Republican politicians alike up in arms. "

Publisher's Weekly

“‘How do we tell our own stories when no framework has been given for deeper meanings? How do we create a cosmology of our own? Why is vastness so frightening?’ These questions vibrate at the heart of Spirit Things. The sensual pleasure of Messersmith-Glavin's language interweaves with her capacious spiritual inquiry; her lithe prose is an absolute delight. This luminous, magnificent project is a gift Messersmith-Glavin has brought us from the ocean, full of awe and beauty, salt and light.”

—Alicia Jo Rabins, author of Divinity School

Review of Perspectives on Anarchist Theory:
"The house journal of the Institute for Anarchist Studies has just transformed itself into a veritable palace! The strengths of this once newsletter (the best of new anarchist writing, on theory, history and practice; in-depth book reviews; cutting edge interviews; and work in translation) have been expanded into the finest work of anarchist scholarship available today. "

AK Press


Like what you see? Get in touch to learn more.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
Thanks for submitting!