Jessica (Tyner) Mehta is a Cherokee poet, novelist, and storyteller. She’s the author of five collections of poetry including the Constellations of My Body, Secret-Telling Bones, Orygun, What Makes an Always, and The Last Exotic Petting Zoo as well as the novel The Wrong Kind of Indian. She’s been awarded the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Prize in Poetry, and numerous poet-in-residencies posts including positions at Hosking Houses Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, Paris Lit Up in France, and the Acequia Madre House in Santa Fe, NM. Jessica is the owner of a multi-award winning writing services business, MehtaFor, and is the founder of the Get it Ohm! karma yoga movement.
Jessica Mehta is poet who writes without shame about body, race, and belonging. There’s both an unflinching boldness and an unexpected tenderness to the way she treats the rich cast within these pages — the ghosts of past selves, lost loves, and departed family. Constellations of My Body takes readers on an open-hearted journey through life’s fires asking what we inherit and what we make ourselves, what it means to be native, to be other, to feel lost and, ultimately, to belong.
Gimme the Familiars is a connected short story collection steeped in memoir. Each chapter begins with a “mini chapter” that’s a re-telling of a Native American myth. As a Cherokee writer, I included mostly Cherokee myths which were first told to me as a child. However, all are completely re-imagined, original work, and placed in a modern setting. The mini chapters are connected closely to each of the matching chapters, with the animals in the myths correlating to the monsters, heroes, and forgotten everyones we know in in our daily lives. (Ourselves included).