GENNAROSE NETHERCOTT is the author of the novel THISTLEFOOT (Knopf Anchor/PRH 2022) and The Lumberjack’s Dove (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2018), selected by Louise Glück as a winner of the National Poetry Series. Her other recent projects include the narrative song collection Modern Ballads, and Lianna Fled the Cranberry Bog: A Story in Cootie Catchers (Ninepin Press 2019). A Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow, her work has appeared in BOMB Magazine, The Massachusetts Review, The American Scholar, PANK, and elsewhere, and she has been a writer-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center, Art Farm Nebraska, and the Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris, among others.


    Nethercott tours nationally and internationally performing from her works (often with a hand-cranked shadow puppet show in tow) and composing poems-to-order for strangers on a 1952 Hermes Rocket typewriter. She is the founder of the Traveling Poetry Emporium, a team of poets-for-hire, and is an Associate Producer at Grim and Mild, where she conducts supernatural and historical research for the podcast Lore. She lives in the woodlands of Vermont, beside an old cemetery.

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    ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: NPR  The Wall Street Journal  Washington Independent Review of Books • BookPage  Book Riot


    In the tradition of modern fairytales comes a sweeping epic rich in Eastern European folklore—a debut novel about the ancestral hauntings that stalk us, and the uncanny power of story.


    "This book blooms from a fairy tale to a panoptic story that defies space and time, brimming with creativity, wisdom, and love."

    -Kirkus STARRED Review


    “Nethercott is a literary trickster god who has crafted a wonderfully imaginative, wholly enchanting novel of witness, survival, memory, and family. Thistlefoot shimmers with magic and mayhem."

    —Libba Bray


    A genuinely rollicking adventure....skillfully stuffed with startling rollickers. Prepare to be thoroughly, comprehensively, joyfully rollicked.”
    —Lemony Snicket

  • Live THISTLEFOOT Readings & Events

    With live puppetry accompaniment!

    *recommended for ages 12 and up



    More dates TBA


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    Fifty Beasts to Break Your Heart (and other stories)



    A collection of dark fairytales and fractured folklore exploring how our passions can save us—or go monstrously wrong.



    In these lush, strange, beautifully written stories, GennaRose Nethercott explores human longing in all its diamond-dark facets to create a collection that will redefine what you see as a beast, and make you beg to have your heart broken.


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    The Lumberjack's Dove

    Winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series (Ecco/HarperCollins)


    “Pithy, magical, its many insights, its cautions and clarifications, unfolding in a chain of brief scenes and koan-like revelations. This is a book of unexpected lightness and buoyancy, as necessary in our tense period as the more urgent confrontations.”

    -Louise Glück



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    Lianna Fled the Cranberry Bog: a story in cootie catchers

    A kaleidoscopic tale of cruel beasts, daring thieves, lost sweethearts, and a family on the run-- told through twenty-six fold-up paper fortune tellers. (from Ninepin Press)

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    Modern Ballads

    A collection of narrative ballads by GennaRose Nethercott, set to music by a lineup of America's best contemporary folk bands.


    Featuring: Lula Wiles, Jefferson Hamer, Lonely Heartstring Band, Lissa Schneckenburger/Corey DiMario, Peter Mulvey, Dietrich Strause, Arc Iris, and Rose Polenzani

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    A Ghost of Water

    An ekphrastic collaboration with printmaker Susan Osgood of poems and images.


    This luscious hardcover art book contains eighteen original poems by GennaRose Nethercott, inspired by eighteen full-color Susan Osgood prints.


    "You are the mackerel that slips / from the fisherman’s grasp / and you are the dark haven / into which the fish / silently vanishes"




    TLR: "Drowning Lessons," 2021


    The Spectacle: Five poems from 50 Beasts to Break Your Heart, 2021


    BOMB Magazine: "Sundown at the Eternal Staircase," 2021


    The American Scholar: "A Diviner's Abecedarian," 2019


    BOMB Magazine: Six poems from 50 Beasts to Break Your Heart, 2019


    7 x 7: A Small, Beautiful Thing (collaboration with Frances Cannon), 2019


    Action, Spectacle: "What the neighbors Mustn't Know" & "The Cartographer," 2019


    The Massachusetts Review: Excerpt from 50 Beasts to Break Your Heart, 2018 (print only)


    Timber: Four poems from 50 Beasts to Break Your Heart, 2018


    PANK: Three poems from Dear Fox, Dear Barn, 2017


    The Offing: excerpt from Dear Fox, Dear Barn (co-written with Ben Clark), 2016


    Black Lawrence Press They Said anthology: excerpt from Dear Fox, Dear Barn, forthcoming 2017


    Leveler: "Every Meal Tastes of Premonition" from Dear Fox, Dear Barn, 2016


    Maudlin House: "Ablutions," 2016


    Wyvern Lit: "The Autumn Kill," "Not Spam, Please Forward," & "Daylight Savings" 2015


    Cleaver Magazine: "Skin," 2014


    Rust + Moth: "Fuel," 2014


    Holland Park Press: "Departures," Winner of 2014 poetry contest




    The Brooklyn Rail: Interviewed by Kathleen Rooney


    The Massachusetts Review: "10 Questions with GennaRose Nethercott"


    Hunger Mountain: "For Folk's Sake," Interviewed by Desmond Peeples


    Neon Pajamas: "Possessed Roosters and Eternal Staircases," Interviewed by Ben Niespodziany


    Seven Days: "Poets GennaRose Nethercott and Adrienne Raphel Keep Vermont on the Literary Map," by Julia Shipley


    Massachusetts Cultural Council: "Beasts and Boxes," an audio reading/interview


    Sundress Publications: "Lyric Essentials: GennaRose Nethercott Reads Miriam Bird Greenberg"





    Kirkus Reviews

    "This book blooms from a fairy tale to a panoptic story that defies space and time, brimming with creativity, wisdom, and love."


    Library Journal

    "Replete with beautiful metaphors and lyrical prose, poet and folklorist Nethercott’s (The Lumberjack’s Dove) debut novel deploys her poetic storytelling powers to spotlight the struggle against oppression. This modern-day fairy tale will ignite greater understanding of an individual’s ability to incite change with the stories they tell."



    "Nethercott’s quiet, lyrical, yet potent prose . . . breathes life into this stirring, multigenerational fairy tale. . . . This fable about fables reminds us of the staying power of stories."




    The Millions

    "Nethercott’s book feels true as wind, a discovery worth embracing."


    Washington Independent Review of Books

    "Just when we’re told that our culture is flattened by the mundanity of social media, Nethercott rises from its ashes like an angel of redemption."


    Berkeley Fiction Review

    "...through the numerical symbols and musicality characteristic of so many folktales, Nethercott crafts a stunning postmodern take on folklore."


    Drunken Monkeys

    "Delicious, endearing, it’s a successfully cast spell."



    "Like grief itself, this story breathes, grows and shrinks, folds inward, and recalibrates—but never quite resolves... Most any lover of poetry, regardless of their preferred style, will enjoy the book."



    Custom poetry written on the topic of your choice-- by individual request and available for events.

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    Nethercott is a founding member of THE TRAVELING POETRY EMPORIUM, a team of poets-for-hire who compose poems-to-order on manual typewriters at universities, museums, parties, and events. Email

    thepoetryemporium@gmail.com to pitch an event or get a price quote.