Nirmala_Nataraj

About Me

I’m Nirmala Nataraj, a New York–based writer, editor, book midwife, theater artist, and mythmaker. Welcome to my site, which is the crossroads between your creativity, life force, and personal fulfillment via the portals of myth, storytelling, word magic, and collective liberation!

As someone who has woven in and out of a number of different word realms—nonprofit communications, advertising, theatre, publishing, and community arts, to name a few—I know that liberation is possible through the stories we choose to tell. As a first-generation South Asian American, I myself exist in the liminal spaces between cultures, art forms, and languages—and it is this multiplicity of narratives that informs my personal and professional approach.

I am the author of two books about space and cosmology, the ghostwriter of a dozen works (primarily in the arena of spiritual writing, memoir, and young adult fiction), and a book development editor who lovingly stewards my clients from planting the seeds for their stories to watching them burgeon and flourish in the world. My zeal for storytelling and mythmaking, wedded with my former work as an activist and counselor, has led me to craft a variety of books about overcoming addiction and moving beyond self-help and into collective liberation. My strengths, passions, and areas of interest include subjects as varied as the cultural effects of technology, public art, sustainable architecture, sexuality, ecology, performance studies, and what it means to seed revolutionary acts of beauty in a world steeped in suffering and injustice.

I believe that every book has its own spirit, and it’s up to us to simply get out of the way and do whatever is necessary to usher that spirit into form. Some of the guides on my journey include: irreverence, play, the incantatory power of words, the gifts of the more-than-human realm, and the grace of falling apart and dispensing with preconceived notions about what creativity and power are supposed to look like. Oh yeah—and tons of plant tinctures, organic skincare, bottles of biodynamic wine, and Epsom salt baths!

My colleagues include New York Times–bestselling authors, spiritual teachers, social changemakers and shit starters, mushrooms, trees, and some particularly talkative chipmunks who come to visit me during the golden hours before dusk, when I am most creatively potent.

In all my work, I emphasize the power of claiming authority over our voices and personal truths, while also surrendering to the creative process and ceding control and ownership over it.

I am committed to steadfast creative inquiry (I dig questions more than answers) and new definitions of self and community that work to dismantle heteropatriarchal/imperialist/misogynist/racist frameworks about whose words matter and how they should be arranged on a page or stage. As a multi-genre collaborator and creative facilitator, I believe in messiness, multiplicity, competing and coalescing narratives, generativity in the midst of strife, the coexistence of love and justice, and breathtaking beauty as a natural consequence of this wild ride.

The book that started it all

EARTH + SPACE
(Chronicle Books)

Take a tour of the universe with this breathtaking collection of photographs from the archives of NASA. Astonishing images of Earth from above, the phenomena of our solar system, and the celestial bodies of deep space will captivate readers and photography lovers with an interest in science, astronomy, and the great beyond.

Each extraordinary photograph from the legendary space agency is paired with explanatory text that contextualizes its place in the cosmic ballet of planets, stars, dust, and matter—from Earth's limb to solar flares, the Jellyfish Nebula to Pandora's Cluster. Featuring a preface by Bill Nye, this engaging volume offers up-close views of our remarkable cosmos, and sparks wonder at the marvels of Earth and space.

Earth+Space-book
buy-book

Check out my new book, out in Fall 2017!

THE PLANETS
(Chronicle Books)

“Nirmala Nataraj returns with another gorgeous photographic tour of space, this time featuring 200 sharp photos of planets, moons, and comets in our solar system, collected from over 40 years’ worth of material housed in NASA’s archives…. The collection is a remarkable reminder of how much has been learned about the planets over the past few decades, solving many mysteries yet introducing many more.”

- Publishers Weekly

My writing and editorial clients have included:

Chronicle-Booksde_reus_architectsgregory_lind_galleryMandalaoro_editionsKN_literacy_artsles_lunesOneTaste

Other things I’m up to

Learn more about my work with Tarot, personal mythmaking, and the power of archetypes:
wingedserpenttarot.com

Learn more about my coaching work, which will help you get in touch with the magical power and energy of your own desire:
sacredfirecoaching.com

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