Mothership: A Memoir of Wonder and Crisis (Paperback)

Mothership: A Memoir of Wonder and Crisis By Greg Wrenn Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days


A dazzling, evidence-based account of one man’s quest to heal from complex PTSD by turning to endangered coral reefs and psychedelic plants after traditional therapies failed—and his awakening to the need for us to heal the planet as well.

Professor Greg Wrenn likes to tell his nature-writing students, “The ecological is personal, and the personal is ecological.” What he’s never told them is how he’s lived out those correspondences to heal from childhood abuse at the hands of his mother.

Weaving together memoir and cutting-edge science, Mothership is not just a queer coming-of-age story. It’s a deeply researched account of how coral reefs and a psychedelic tea called ayahuasca helped Greg heal from complex PTSD—a disorder of trust, which makes the very act of bonding with someone else panic-inducing. From the tide pools in Florida where he grew up, to Indonesia’s Raja Ampat archipelago and the Amazon rainforest, this is his search for wholeness when talk therapy and pharmaceuticals did little to help. Along the way, as his ecological conscience wakes up, he takes readers underwater to the last pristine reefs on earth, and into the psyche.

Written with prophetic urgency, Mothership ultimately asks if doses of nature will be enough to save us before it’s too late.

About the Author

A former Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, Greg Wrenn is the author of Centaur (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013)which National Book Award–winning poet Terrance Hayes awarded the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. 

Greg’s work has appeared in The New Republic, Al JazeeraThe Rumpus, Kenyon Review, New England Review, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. He has received awards and fellowships from the James Merrill House, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Poetry Society of America.

As an associate English professor, Greg teaches environmental literature and creative writing at James Madison University, where he weaves climate change science into literary studies. He was educated at Harvard University and Washington University in St. Louis.

Greg is a trained yoga teacher and a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, exploring coral reefs around the world for over twenty-five years. He lives in the mountains of Virginia with his husband and their growing family of trees.

Praise For…

“Taking readers along on his fascinating journey, the author emphasizes the interconnectivity of the self and Mother Earth, drawing connections between his own C-PTSD and the complex being that humans are actively destroying with our ‘gimme-gimme, carbon-belching society.’… Wrenn paints a vivid image of a dying planet at the hands of humans—not as an issue of tomorrow, but as the current consequence of our daily actions and inactions, a form of trauma all its own…. A memorable book that capably interweaves the personal and the universal.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A brave, beautiful testament to love both past and present, a meticulously researched account of our relationship to ourselves and the world…. Mothership does for coral what Richard Powers’s The Overstory does for trees. I can’t wait to assign this to my students.”
Garrard ConleyNew York Times bestselling author of Boy Erased

“A powerful testimonial and call to action to save the equal opportunity healer that is Mother Nature.”
Carine McCandless, author of The Wild Truth, the New York Times bestselling follow-up to Into the Wild

“As humanity stands at the crossroads of catastrophe and consciousness, Wrenn’s wonder-filled, carefully researched memoir makes a strong case for not only the sacramental value and healing power of psychedelics but also for safe, legal access to psychedelic-assisted therapy for PTSD. Mothership is a deeply moving roadmap through the intertwined destinies of individual well-being and the urgent need to heal our planet.”
Rick Doblin, PhD, Founder and President of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

“A deeply felt, clear-eyed memoir examining what it means to grieve nature’s losses and yet still manage to find healing and love in what remains.”
Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix and Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey

Mothership is a story of personal and, hopefully, global healing. With rare insight, Wrenn captures a mystical reciprocity with the natural world that leads to a love affair with all life he encounters under the sea. At the same time, he is learning, painfully and little by little, to love himself and to be loved. The turning point in his memoir is his encounter with the spirit of ayahuasca, Madre Ayahuasca. Wrenn elegantly describes his own emotional journey as well as the psychological process of working with this powerful psychedelic medicine. Mothership, a story of how healing happens after a traumatic childhood, is an important contribution to the growing field of psychedelic study."
Rachel Harris, PhD, author of Listening to Ayahuasca and Swimming in the Sacred

“Greg’s life story and spiritual journey are one of the greatest examples of the power that ayahuasca and plant medicines have to bring about personal transformation. The first time I met Greg, he had a crippling fear of life. Through a deep commitment to self-healing, he has transmuted this fear into a full embrace with life itself. A raw, real, and riveting personal story, Mothership brings the reader on a journey through the darkness of deep traumas, woundings, and addictions into the light of divine consciousness. Page by page, we witness a transformation from being broken to becoming whole once again.”
Alanna Collins, RN, co-founder of Truth is One Interfaith Church, kambo & plant medicine facilitator

Product Details
ISBN: 9798888452141
Publisher: Regalo Press
Publication Date: March 26th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English