Broadside Bookshop reading

It went well!

Such lovely people in the audience! Man, I wish I’d taken a pic of them.

A friend (Sylvia!) brought me an article on Jellyfish Dreaming in the Daily Hampshire Gazette I never would have seen otherwise:

Arts > Books

Book Bag: ‘Jellyfish Dreaming’ by D.K. McCutchen; ‘Open Fire’ by Deborah Gorlin and ‘Memphis Shoals’ by Brad Crenshaw; ‘The Last language’ by Jennifer duBois


Staff Writer

Published: 10/13/2023 1:47:18 PM

Modified: 10/13/2023 1:46:11 PM

Jellyfish Dreaming

By D.K. McCutchen

Leapfrog Press

One reviewer calls its “a head trip like nothing you’ve read,” a story that weaves together many issues percolating today — climate change, genetics, gender, biology — “in such a way it’s impossible to miss how they were always all one thing to begin with.”

“Jellyfish Dreaming,” by D.K. McCutchen, is a post-apocalyptic, speculative novel that on one hand envisions a future world of seemingly unmitigated horror. For one thing, the oceans now “cough up jellyfish and plastic rubbish” and little else, and the human race — what’s left of it — subsists largely on a diet of jellyfish and kelp.

In fact, humans are starting to turn into jellyfish themselves — and they’ve become sterile.

Then’s there’s Jack, the central character of the novel, is a “200-year-old intersex street kid” who has a strange form of immortality, in which he changes back into a kid every time he reaches the cusp of adulthood.

Jack still has memories of things, like birds and frogs, that existed before environmental disasters destroyed the old world. That and the fact that he’s not sterile attracts the interest of some nearby university researchers, who believe Jack and some other orphaned survivors might be humanity’s last hope.

Love is still a part of life. But when Jack falls for Joon, one of the tough street kids who can choose their own gender, old bigotries erupt into violence, and Jack must scramble to protect those he loves from a madman and save a dying world. But at what cost?

D.K. McCutchen teaches writing for students in the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Natural Sciences, and she’s also an associate director of the Junior Year Writing Program. She’s a UMass graduate as well.

McCutchen will come to Broadside Bookshop in Northampton on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. to talk about the U.S. edition of her nonfiction book, “The Whale,” a narrative first published in New Zealand that recounts the author’s experience on a scientific expedition from Tahiti to New Zealand.


Published for the first time in the USA, October 17th, with JACKLEG PRESS

A South Pacific Kiriyama Prize Notable Book

READING at BROADSIDE BOOKS , 247 Main Street , Northampton, MA 01060

Tuesday, October 17th, 7pm

“Spellbinding. Enormously rich and satisfying.”

– Witi Ihimaera, The Whale Rider

ON THE WHALE ROAD, a sailing vessel and her small research crew follow the Hwaelweg –the path of the whale– through the South Pacific to New Zealand to see if any whales are left at all. Based on a true tale of the voyage, WHALE ROAD embraces magical realism in a story told to an unborn child, in which a sailor falls off a cliff and turns into an albatross and a pod of female sperm whales chase the setting sun.

Drawing by Dr. Sharon McCutchen, DVM

Jellyfish Dreaming playlist


R.E.M.- It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)


Higher Ground (Playing for Change)


The Dead South – In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company


Rusted Root – Send Me On My Way


When The Levee Breaks feat. John Paul Jones | Playing For Change |


I am the Walrus (Remastered 2009) – The Beatles

Somewhere over the Rainbow – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole


The Traveling Wilburys – End Of The Line

JELLYFISH DREAMING publication day reading at Odyssey Books, 7pm, Aug 22, 2023

In Conversation with Kirsten Mosher & Cindy Snow:

KIRSTEN MOSHER is a visual artist and writer. She has exhibited internationally, and her chapbook Plea$e Steal Me for 100 Plus Dollar-zz  is forthcoming with Lily Poetry Review Books in October, 2023. 

CINDY SNOW published her chapbook Small Ceremonies with Slate Roof press. At The Changing Nature of Art & Science Conference, in Amsterdam, Cindy read from her manuscript on the 17th Century naturalist & botanist Maria Sibylla Merian.

READING Schedule 2023

(so far!)

JELLYFISH DREAMING (JFD) winner of a LeapFrog Global Fiction Prize for YA, is forthcoming August 22, 2023, with LEAPFROG Press (USA) and CAN OF WORMS Press (UK).

WHALE ROAD is updated & forthcoming in the USA for the first time with JACKLEG Press, October 16th, 2023 (previously published by Random House NZ, 2004, and Blake UK 2006).

Western Massachusetts READINGS:

• ARMS LIBRARY, Shelburne Falls, MA, Saturday July 29th , 2023 (7:00 pm)

• STRAW DOG WRITER’S GUILD as Featured Author at: FORBES LIBRARY, Northampton, MA, August 1st, 2023 (6:00-8:00pm)

• ODYSSEY BOOKS, South Hadley, MA, Aug 22, 2023 (7:00 pm)

• BROADSIDE BOOKS, Northampton, October 17th, 2023 (7:00 – 8:00pm)

• LAVA CENTER, Third Tuesday Featured Author, Greenfield, MA, Dec. 19th 2023 (7:00 pm)

Other readings TBD.

Publication Dates are Out! Readings TBD.

JELLYFISH DREAMING (JFD) will be published August 22, 2023, by LeapFrog Press (USA) and Can of Worms Press (UK). Cover Pending!

WHALE ROAD will be published as an update October 16th, 2023, by Jackleg Press. The publisher sent the final cover (below).

I have some wonderful reading opportunities locally. A full list will be posted soon, but I’ll start with a reading of JFD at our own ARMS LIBRARY, Saturday July 29th, and as Featured Author for STRAW DOG WRITER’S GUILD August 1st (venue TBA), then ODYSSEY BOOKS hopefully on JFD’s publication date of Aug 22! Still working on a date with the LAVA CENTER and others.

WHALE ROAD will have its first reading at BROADSIDE BOOKS, likely in October 2023. Other readings still TBD.

Forthcoming with JackLeg Press, October 2023

Leapfrog Press Global Fiction Prize

Leapfrog Press

LEAPFROG PRESS  · “A HUGE congratulations to our 2022 Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize YA/MG winner, “Jellyfish Dreaming” by D.K. McCutchen! A well deserved winner with an amazing story! Thank you to our judge, Rosanne Parry, for judging and selecting our final winner. Congratulations to D.K. McCutchen and thank you to everyone who submitted their work and made this prize possible.” @D.K.Mccutchen #leapfrogpress#fictionprize#writemore#Consortium#Congrats