‘The Medusa Project,’ co-edited by Jersey City writer, heads for the moon

When Megha Sood does something, she throws herself into it. The Jersey City resident of nearly 14 years is a poet, blogger and publisher who pivoted four years ago from a career in business intelligence and data-driven programming. Now her poetry and the poetry she co-edited are going to the moon. Literally.

As part of the third phase of the Lunar Codex project, the Polaris collection, “The Medusa Project” by British newspaper Mookychick, will be part of the work going to the moon as a digital payload in a time capsule, ready to go. heading to the lunar South Pole in fall 2023 via SpaceX, as NASA sends equipment to the Moon ahead of an astronaut’s scheduled return in 2024.

Four years ago, Sood started a blog on WordPress, and within three months of posting poems, she says, her poems were picked up by a Philadelphia-based feminist journal. It snowballed for Sood to join their literary collective and others, while also submitting his work to socially conscious writing anthologies.

“Social awareness was the main focus of my writing, so my idea was to write about social issues and not only raise awareness about those issues, but also educate myself,” Sood said. “Because in India I used to say, ‘Everything doesn’t happen to you’, but there are issues around you and you grow up with them and subconsciously you know those things are happening. But then when I got the chance and took a step back from my active career and started wandering around the community and started writing, (working on those things) sort of spilled out of me.

The titles of Sood’s Finishing Line Press chapbook “My Body is Not an Apology” and FlowerSong Press’s entire collection “My Body Lives Like a Threat” encapsulate a major theme of his work – the politics of the body.

“It covers body shaming and issues of patriarchal society, but it also encompasses issues of body politics. For example, a woman’s body is perceived as a threat. The body of a person of color, the body of an immigrant, the body of a refugee is perceived as a threat. I have written on a myriad of issues ranging from gun violence to the effect of a country’s toxic political culture on its people.

Sood joined Mookychick in 2022 as Associate Poetry Editor. “The same year we thought of doing something special for women in March,” Sood said, “because 2020 was also the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement that led to the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution allowing women to vote. We wanted to celebrate the landmark year, so we thought of making a call for this anthology centered on women and women can actually write not only about their struggles in life, but also on their successes and breaking the glass ceiling in anthology form.

This electronic anthology, which features poetry and art, can be downloaded for free at https://www.mookychick.co.uk/lit-community/personal-essays/free-download-the-medusa-project-anthology.php.

As the anthology came to fruition late last year, Sood caught wind of the Lunar Codex project by Canadian physicist, author and filmmaker Dr. Samuel Peralta. “He’s basically working with NASA and SpaceX to organize the works of over 6,000 creatives and the works of an AI and they’re going to send the works of the creative works in three different digital payloads to the moon,” Sood said. “I reached out to him, and then out of the various books I’ve been involved in, he basically selected ‘The Medusa Project’ to be included as a digital payload, and that’s how it all came together.”

There was a period when Peralta opened up bids more widely. It was for the second phase of the project, now finalized.

“Space and the moon are, as they say, the future of mankind, so they want to send the scientific instruments for exploration, but they also want to represent the richness of culture, and that’s how ‘they represent it,’ Sood said. . “It’s a symbolic way to send art and literature as a snapshot of what the Earth stands for.”

Learn more about the Lunar Codex at www.lunarcodex.com and find Sood’s blog on megasworldsite.wordpress.com.

Jersey City resident Megha Sood’s co-editorial anthology “The Medusa Project” has been selected as part of the Lunar Codex’s “Polaris Collection,” which will be sent as a digital payload to the moon in 2023. (Courtesy of Megha Sood)