Terri Windling

Terri is a writer, editor, folklorist, and artist in the field of fantasy literature. She has published many books for children and adults, receiving nine World Fantasy Awards, the Mythopoeic Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the Solstice Award. She also writes articles on myth, fairy tales, and fantasy; lectures on these same topics; and makes art inspired by folklore and the natural world.

Her previous journeys into the fairy realm include a fairy-infused novel (The Wood Wife), a collection of stories (The Faery Reel), and three children's books (the "Old Oak Wood" series). A former New Yorker, she now lives on Dartmoor.

"Folklorists often speak of Britain's fairy faith as a relic of the past," she notes, "but there are many corners of these isles where it quietly lives on. My Dartmoor village is one of them. I've met old farmers who still put bowls of milk by the door, or whiskey by the hearth, to honour the 'piskies' attached to the land; and those who use herbs, or salt, or flowers picked at specific times of the year, to ward their livestock from disease, theft, and other forms of fairy mischief. Do I believe in fairies myself? I believe there is magic in nature, and that the world is full of Mystery. Fairy stories are like poetry: they tell the truth, but they tell it slant."

Terri has studied fairy lore for many years, but working with artists from other fields required approaching the tales from a different direction, viewing them from new perspectives. This was disorienting, but also exciting.

The Green Children legend revealed a core theme of homelessness, foreignness, and displacement; while selkie tales spoke of the difficult shift between roles as artist, wife, and mother. Shape-shifting hares whispered dark secrets of hedgerow magic and women's agency.

The fading of fairy stories and belief echoed our fraying connection to the land, and to the wild within us. Throughout the project, she was bewitched and awed by the power of music to tell stories, make magic, and create community.

Related posts

The Green Children, 15 January 2020

Fairies of the Trees, 15 January 2020

Artist of the Week - Terri Windling, 19 November 2018