Ruth L. Satsi is a teacher, writer, mother and amateur radical botanist born in rural Thailand, based in Yorkshire/Chiangmai, Thailand, currently working in Chengdu, China, with the University of Leeds. Her writing explores how plants have profoundly shaped human experience both personally and culturally and how the honouring of plants’ liveliness and animation is part of the Thai tradition.
She is the author of a poetry collection, The Peacock Room, which was shortlisted for the Jerwood Aldeborough First Collection Prize and Village of Red Rice: Autofiction – a love song to rural Thailand and to the more-than-human world (unpublished).
threading rak flowers
Ruth L. Satsi
With gorgeous imagery and poetic brushstrokes, the narrative in this piece slowly unfolds into an exploration of memory and mutism. The contrast and fragmentation of the floral descriptions with the implied violence impressed many of us, who found this to be the seed of a brilliant book in development.
Moving between Thailand and Britain, threading rak flowers is an intimate conversation with plants and flowers, and an exploration of how one event can change a life. In six sections mirroring the life cycle of the flower, this book pieces together Ruth L. Satsi’s memories, reflecting on the gun attack which caused her family to relocate to the UK, and the period of mutism which followed, where her strongest bond was to the animate plant world around her.