Welcome to Blessing All the Birds, a feminist fan project focused on the work of songwriter Joanna Newsom. We see Newsom's work as feminist literature and our goal is to provide it the serious critical analysis it deserves, as well as to discuss her unique place in popular culture.
Contributing Authors


Melissa hails from Brooklyn, NY and is a doctoral fellow in Classical Studies, hoping to focus on Roman women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. She has been a feminist ever since she was eleven-years-old and was first street harassed. Melissa’s main feminist interests include the destruction of rape culture, prison abolition, reproductive justice, the history of the feminism(s), notions of femininity and masculinity, safe(r) and radical spaces, intersectionality, body-policing and bodily autonomy, feminist presentations of women in visual media, and feminist musicians. Joanna Newsom has had a dramatic influence on Melissa’s life and sanity—no other musician has made her feel so human and has made her cry so much in public.

Some of Melissa’s Posts:

"The muzzle of a ghost:" The loss of character and the little black mare in "No Provenance"

"That’s an awfully real gun:" "Only Skin" and the Destructive and Life-Giving Facts of Sex

"Go long—right over the edge of the earth!" Part I: "Go Long" and "The Bloody Chamber"

"Go long—right over the edge of the earth!" Part II: "Go Long" and "Bluebeard’s Egg" 


Rachel (Former Co-Editor of Blessing All the Birds)

Rachel began listening to Joanna Newsom while studying Literature at a small, liberal arts university in Ontario’s “cottage country”. A childhood of east coast Canadian folk music, mixed with her main research interest (representations of gender in Middle English literature and traditional folklore), made Newsom an instant favourite.

She is particularly interested in issues surrounding women’s voices, women as storytellers/balladeers, personal mythologies, and gender-informed readings of traditional folk forms (fairy stories, ballads, oral tales etc).

Some of Rachel’s Posts:

The Abuses of Enchantment

The Siren and the Banshee: Joanna Newsom and the Danger of Women’s Voices

Down Where I Darn: Handicraft, “Women’s Work” and Art on The Milk Eyed Mender