Photography Michael Dee

About me

I am a writer and curator engaged with all things orderly and disorderly in the natural world. 

I am currently working on a four-book Superpower Field Guide series for young readers about the surprising supertalents of humpy-dumpy animals.  The series is illustrated by the award-winning Nicholas John Frith and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Beavers are first up -- look for it December 2018!  

I have written two books for grown-ups -- one about taxidermy, one about beavers -- that explore the ways humans make sense of the natural world. 

Taxidermy is a particularly strange, particularly provocative encounter with nature. My book The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing was part of my Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I wrote Beaver for Reaktion Books' Animal Series, which investigates all things beaver from hats to dams to ice cream.

I hold a Ph.D. in the Programme of Comparative Literature at the University of British Columbia (UBC). My thesis, “To make the stubborn Clod relent: Climate, Culture, and Cultivation in Early Modern England,” investigates medical and cultural interpretations of climate and nature in seventeenth-century England. I also have a B.F.A. in painting and printmaking from UBC, a Post-Baccalaureate in painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities from Stanford University, during which time I focused on material culture and early modern cabinets of curiosity. 

I have worked with collections at various art galleries and museums.  I curated Ravishing Beasts: The Strangely Alluring World of Taxidermy for the Museum of Vancouver and the permanent vertebrate exhibits at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.

Please contact me at racheljudy@shaw.ca.  Follow me on Instagram @rachel poliquin.

Literary Representation:
Amy Tompkins, Transatlantic Agency, amy@transatlanticagency.com