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Cover for Literary Chickens

Literary Chickens

Beth Moon (By (photographer)), Isabella Rossellini (Foreword by), Jane Goodall (Afterword by), Melissa Caughey (Commentaries by), Collier Brown (Commentaries by)


List Price: 35.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


From the best-selling photographer of Ancient Trees, an arresting collection of black-and-white chicken portraits paired with quotations from classic literature

Fierce, funny, and flamboyant, fifty-two heritage-breed chickens assess the camera with a keen gaze. By focusing on the faces of her avian subjects, Beth Moon reveals them to us not just as beautiful and exotic creatures, but as individuals in their own right.


Moon’s intimate portraits capture a startling range of emotions and personalities, underscored by excerpts from literature. A martial Spanish White Face is flanked by a passage from Beowulf; a fantastical Buff-Laced Polish, by a line from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; and a refined Blue Polish, by a character sketch from Swann’s Way.


An essay by chicken keeper and best-selling author Melissa Caughey and cultural critic Collier Brown sheds additional light on this fresh and remarkable body of work, which will appeal to animal lovers and literature buffs alike.

Praise For Literary Chickens

Chickens have never looked grander.

— The Wall Street Journal

[One of the] most interesting books I've seen this season.

— The Toronto Star


— The Associated Press

...Sure to raise a few eyebrows in your home.

— Bustle

Each image deftly showcases the hen's individuality and personality while acting as a powerful statement to respect and revere the animals we share this earth with.

— Photo-eye

Abbeville Press, 9780789213099

Publication Date: October 23, 2018

About the Author

Beth Moon, a photographer based in the San Francisco Bay area, has gained international recognition for her large-scale, richly toned platinum-palladium prints. Her other books include Ancient Trees: Portraits of TimeAncient Skies, Ancient Trees; and Literary Chickens, all by Abbeville Press.

Isabella Rossellini, the well-known actress and film-maker, keep chickens on her Long Island farm, an experience she has documented in the book My Chickens and I.

Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, is the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, a leading conservationist and humanitarian, and a UN Ambassador of Peace.

Melissa Caughey is the author of two best-selling books, How to Speak Chicken and A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens. Caughey is proprietor of the popular website Tilly's Nest, which covers chicken keeping , beekeeping, gardening, and crafting. She lives on Cape Cod with her family.

Collier Brown, a poet and photography critic, holds a PhD in American studies from Harvard University. He is the editor of two photo book publishers, 21st Editions and Edition Galerie Vevais, and the founding editor of Od Review. His first book of poetry, Eye, Thus Far, Unplucked, was published by Stephen F. Austin University Press.