2015 Keynote by Susan Griffin


“Who Is Telling the Story? A Few Remarks on the Mythic Imagination”

The wondrous events and magic depicted in myth mirror the creative process of storytelling in countless ways. Using her own experience as a writer as well as that of other contemporary and classic writers and poets, Griffin will describe the often mysterious alchemical process by which words and rhymes, plots, turns of plots, characters, scenes and even whole landscapes enter the imaginary realm of the tale, a process which challenges many of the dualities engrained in modern consciousness. 

Susan Griffin  was born in Los Angeles California in 1943, in the midst of the Second World War and the holocaust, and these events had a lasting effect on her thinking. She draws deep connections between the destruction of nature, the diminishment of women, and racism, and she traces the causes of war to denial in both private and public life.   Her work moves beyond the boundaries of form and perception. She is known for her innovative style. Her groundbreaking book Woman and Nature, is an extended prose-poem that inspired the ecofeminist movement.

In A Chorus of Stonesthe Private Life of War, Griffin blends history and memoir. Her most recent book, Wrestling with the Angel of Democracy, the Autobiography of an American Citizen  (published by Trumpeter books in April, 2008) explores the state of mind that engenders and sustains democracy.

Her “social autobiography,” A Chorus of Stones, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Award, winner of the BABRA Award in 1992, and also a NY Times Notable Book of the Year. Her play Voices, which won an Emmy in 1975 for a local PBS production, has been performed throughout the world, including a radio production by the BBC.  In 2009 she was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

Additionally, she has been named by Utne Reader as one of a hundred important visionaries for the new millennium.

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