White Magic


Elissa Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe whose personal essays and memoir examine the effect of trauma, disorders, and popular culture on her body and identity.

Artist Bio

White Magic is a personal essay collection about heartbreak, sexual violation, and the artist’s process of becoming a powerful witch. Surrounded by cheap facsimiles of Native spiritual tools and occult trends, Elissa Washuta learns to embrace the spirit powers and desperation witchery of her dispossessed and discarded Cowlitz, Cascade, and Appalachian ancestors.


Award Year
2019
Status

In Progress

Elissa Washuta

Columbus, OH

Elissa Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe whose personal essays and memoir examine the effect of trauma, disorders, and popular culture on her body and identity. Her books, Starvation Mode and My Body Is a Book of Rules, defy boundaries and definition of nonfiction narrative. Each work combines the author’s personal struggles with mental illness, the emotional wounds caused by sexual violence, and the regulations she takes upon her body to create a powerful document of American womanhood in the modern age.

Washuta works with Theresa Warburton as co-editors of the anthology Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers, forthcoming from University of Washington Press. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, 4Culture, Potlatch Fund, and Hugo House. Washuta is an assistant professor of English at the Ohio State University.

Photo credit: KR Forbes