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Writing

[Through her] trained eye, insistent sympathy, and deep humanism… not only do you get to see everything to which Shauna is drawn, but you actually become drawn in yourself, brought into a bright and unknowable world…”  —Sumanth Prabhaker, Editor-in-Chief, Orion


My writing addresses art, animals and environments, language, geography, and explorations of identity. A regular contributor to Orion, I have also published various essays and exhibition texts, and I was shortlisted for the 2021 Nan Shepherd Prize for underrepresented voices in nature writing. Current fascinations include neurodiverse aesthetic experiences; the nēnē, or Hawaiian geese, in London’s St James’s Park; and the calm, “sea like a mirror” end of the Beaufort wind force scale. A selection of my projects can be found below. 

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Gay Is the Thing with Feathers

A feature article exploring the role feathers play in camp and drag culture and performance, and what they mean to the LGBT+ people around them.

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Ping, Purr

Through poetry and illustration, this chapbook explores my partner’s love language of Instagram cat reels after long Covid put her life on pause.

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Exhibition Texts

Through commissioned essays and exhibition texts, I write about contemporary Icelandic art as well as art concerned with animals and nature.

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Visual Fields

This recurring column in Orion Magazine examines a range of environmental issues through meditations on works of art, guided by formal analysis.

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Of Birds and Barley

How did Iceland’s swans turn from beloved beauties into ravenous beasts? This essay exposes biopolitics underlying this human–wildlife conflict.

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Up, Up, on Implausible Wings

Despite its absence in Icelandic poetry and prose, the puffin is now a national emblem – while its population declines. My essay connects the dots.

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Into the Red

My contribution to Into the Red – a book dedicated to the UK’s red-listed birds – is an ode on the long-tailed duck, a master diver of cold northern seas.

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