About the Book
Cardboard workshop how-to, karaoke songbook, nature drag theorization, 450-million-year-long love letter, field guide to a different future—Bloodtide proposes exactly what we need in a form we never imagined. Bloodtide is a new holiday to gather us around an homage dedicated to 450 million years of horseshoe crab fortitude.
“There is a crinkly poetry to BLOODTIDE, repurposed poetry, the poetry of wild rebirth snatched from the recycling bin. Words I thought I knew cast shadows that turn them into other beings entirely. Humble is an important word in this book, and so is impossible, and so is cardboard. I don’t think you can make a book like this unless you have been making art and doing liberation work for, oh, I don’t know, twenty years. BLOODTIDE is a box full of wild objects, and the wild space between them. It’s might-y — might like “could be” not like brute force. It expands, has expanded me. I gasped a few times and my nose twitches with the smell — the “rutty musk of the freer beasts within us.” It is radical, it is wise, it is alive.” – Agnes Borinsky, author of Brief Chronicle, Books 6-8 and Sasha Masha
It’s a holiday drawn from the author’s own need for new cultural practices and extended as an offering for anybody to use with hopes of contributing to collective liberation. Bloodtide attempts queer futurity, without mythologies of settler innocence and with sustained recognition that time extends through our ancestors: recent ones and ancient. Bloodtide promotes horizontalist structure building practices through pageantry, crabaoke, naturedrag, cardboard sculpting, feasting and other hands-on, locally oriented, commemorative & survivalist practices. Bloodtide posits that homage and attention to horseshoe crabs might further all repair efforts and other insufficient necessities for our collective and individual healing/transformation.
“Eli Nixon asks big questions with handheld materials. Looking wide and long at our entanglement with horseshoe crabs (but not just horseshoe crabs), Nixon conjures a holiday complete with rituals, spells, and invocations. If you are raising kids, you’ve likely just found their most-anticipated holiday: a day to celebrate connection, interdependence, and the centrality of non-human bodies in this blessed universe.” – Andrew Simonet, author of Making Your Life as an Artist and the novels Wilder(Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2018) and A Night Twice as Long (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2021)
“Bloodtide is a wild ride on waves of crazy-deep time and earthly cohabitation, symbiotically fusing revelry and reckonings with urgent planetary response-abilities in ways only Eli Nixon–in collaboration with unfathomable millennia of horseshoe crabitation and communal care–can do. In the garb of a book, Bloodtide is an irresistible invitation: to recognize, celebrate, and writhe with difficulty and glee inside the slippery knots that bind pastpresentfuture ecologies and lives to each other, in the shifting tides of this special oceanic planet. Bloodtide is one holiday we do not want to miss.” – Karen Bolender, artist of The Unnaming of Aliassand co-editor of The Promise of Multispecies Justice
Eli Nixon’s Bloodtide is a glorious invitation, map, blueprint, spell and clarion call to activate our personal and collective kinship with horseshoe crabs. Brimming with irreverence, delight and full-throated urgency on every page—and infused with Nixon’s incredible illustrations throughout—there has never been a more compelling case to radically re-imagine our relationships to more-than-human animals and our environment. My family and I are plotting our Bloodtide activations already! – Sarah Benson, Director, Soho Rep
“A forager of the wildly imaginative and the sacred unkempt, Eli Nixon’s Bloodtide makes a serious offering toward communal belonging and culture-making that marvels at the passage of 450 million years and the divinity of horseshoe crabs.” – Haruna Lee, author of Suicide Forest
“When our species finally builds a civilization dedicated to multi-species thriving, Bloodtide will be one among myriad ways we’ll celebrate our precious alignments with this planet’s liveliness. Till then, Eli Nixon’s ecospheric vision will illuminate the path ahead with breath-taking temporalities, vital bodily fluids, and—of course—cardboard costumes.” – Una Chaudhuri,Terrarist and Professor of Ecospheric Consciousness
Malidoma Somé admonishes us that contemporary society, living in the wake of colonialism, suffers from a “drought of rituals.” The radical disturbance of quotidian traditions through new holidays is a powerful way to shake loose the everydayness of oppression, harm and trauma to the planet and their most vulnerable through refreshing our relationship to space and time.
Bloodtide refreshes the memory. It is a rigorous and enchanting offering that draws our attention toward a well where the water never runs dry. Through commemorative clowning, eli nixon provides a sacred and profane peregrination for all fellow revelers seeking the kinds of eschatological celebrations we’re hungry for at the end of capitalism, white supremacy and cisheteropatriarchy. Bloodtides gifts us a river to wander down where we can drift away from the bullshit through the fugitivity of fun, fellowship and inter/trans species abolition.
Through a kaleidoscope of delicious recipes, interventions, costumes, and horseshoe crab intimacy, eli nixon conjures a holiday that rewilds us towards a life-affirming way of being in the world. And more than a holiday, Bloodtide extends us a glitch to enter that predates the trauma of all that clouds our imaginations. I am incredibly grateful for this text and it’s accompanying holy rhythms i have longed to dance to!! – brontë velez, Creative Director, Lead to Life
About the Author
Eli Nixon builds portals and gives guided tours to places that don’t yet exist, or exist but call for creative intervention. They are a settler-descended transqueer clown, a cardboard constructionist, and a maker of plays, puppets, parades, pageants, suitcase theaters, and low-tech public spectaculah. Eli collaborates with artists, activists, schools, mental health and recovery centers, libraries and the more-than-human world to expand imaginative capacity and build muscles for collective liberation. Eli performs naturedrag, draws cartoons, and concocts installations, flotillas and mobile sculptures on beaches, parking lots and stages. They are a Rhode Islander living on Narragansett land and a New Georges affiliated artist. Eli has MFAs in Writing for Performance (Brown, 2018) and in Interdisciplinary Art (Goddard, 2009). They organize with Showing Up for Racial Justice-RI and were part of artEquity’s 2019 national facilitator training. Eli’s current creative efforts include parenting a 12-year-old human, slowly learning trombone, and supporting local and planetary movements for abolition, reparations, and multispecies justice.
About Our Land Acknowledgment
In support of truth-telling and reconciliation, and with the belief that a book can be a liberated and liberatory space that travels through time and across borders, the authors of the 3rd Thing books share their pages with an Indigenous writer. In 2021, that writer is poet Summer J. Hart. Her words conjure the quiet rapture and violence of our connections to place and to one another across and between the borders of time, death, waking, and creature-ness.
About Our Books as Objects
All 3rd Thing books are thoughtfully designed for people who love books…to read them, to smell them, to write in their wide margins, to tuck things in their pages. They feature recycled cover stock and French folds for holding your place. All the 2021 books are the same, perfect squares – 8″ x 8″…not too tall and not too small – so they fit neatly together on your shelf or in a stack on your coffee table…because they are so beautiful, you will want to look at them all the time.