The Morrígan is an enigmatic figure out of Irish mythology, and often appears in Welsh myths. Her name might mean ‘nightmare’ and it might mean ‘queen;’ derivations are varied and lost. Her identity has been transposed over that of other fearsome figures; an analog is commonly found in Lilith. Morgan le Fey of Arthurian legend may have been inspired by our phantom queen. The Morrígan is difficult to quantify, and we mean that literally; she is described both as an individual and a triune goddess. She is heavily associated with ravens and other corvids, and is often described as wearing or having their feathers about her somehow.
She sometimes is betrothed to the Dagda and is mother of their daughter, Brígh. Meanwhile, she is also the lover of Cú Chulainn, though their affair is a bloody one.
She is described as the mother of the battlefield, and is regarded across bodies of myth as a goddess of fate and death. The Morrígan is a beguiling and versatile subject for writers because of these ambiguities and half-formed identities. We have a lot of wingspan to work with here. 


MORRIGAN by John Elison and Meg Elison
Directed by Siobhan Doherty
Staged Reading on November 16, 2019 at The EXIT Theatre

Stacey Winn (The Morrigan/Raven)

Matt Gunnison (Edgard Allen Poe) 

Don Hardwick (John Alllen/Male Chorus)

Kristin Hall (Virginia Clemm/Female Chorus) 

Sam Stone (Stage Directions) 

John LaMar Elison returns to SF Olympians for his second year as a writer. He also played King Lattay in Aeneas by Colin Johnson in 2013. Elison believes that life is all about the stories. Currently, he tells some of those in Spanish at the Fairfax Library as a bilingual youth librarian. He has been published in Jerk Poet, Poetic Diversity, Flight, Daughters of Babalon and Synthesthesia Literary Journal and was privileged, last year, to write for both PianoFight’s Music/Scene and Mixtape: Fury Road. He lives in Oakland with his wife and co-writer, author Meg Elison.

Meg Elison is a first-time participant in the SF Olympians Festival. Elison is the author of THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE, winner of the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award. Her sequel, THE BOOK OF ETTA, was published in February 2017. The third and final book in the series came out in April of 2019. She has also been published in Slate, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Shimmer, Lightspeed, McSweeney’s, Catapult, Electric Literature, and many other places. She was the Clayton B. Ofstad Endowed Chair Writer in Residence at Truman State University in spring 2019. Elison is a high school dropout and a graduate of UC Berkeley. She is married to some guy, has two irascible cats, and writes like she’s running out of time.

The top image of The Morrígan was created by Emily C. Martin.
The bottom image of The Morrígan was created by Brett Grunig.