Works in Progess

The Ice Dancer’s Tale

Springing from a mysterious connection between an ice skater born in Southern California and a shaman who grows up in an indigenous culture known as “the people of the ice,” The Ice Dancer’s Tale depicts two girls as they grow into powerful, creative women. Using dance, dreams, magic, and vision, the story is shaped by two imperatives, the call to address climate change and the inner need to develop wisdom.  

Even today I awaken wondering, was it real? The story shimmers like a legend in my mind, filled with those strange yet glowing images of ice that even today, after so many years, still inhabit my dreams.
          Ice. You may think you know this substance, but you don’t. You say it is cold and hard. I would have said so once too. But I tell you now ice is a form of water and like water it moves. If this movement is slow, in the end the action is startling, even dramatic. As I was to discover, a wild heart burns at the core of the frozen North.

from The Ice Dancer’s Tale by Susan Griffin

Sustainability and the Soul

Griffin is working on a series of essays about contemporary issues, linking ecology, gender, racism and war with the depredation of democracy in America.

The first essay, “Sustainability and the Soul,” was delivered as the Sewell Lecture at the First Unitarian Church of Portland and will be included in the forthcoming collection edited For Routledge by Jeanine Canty, Edges of Transformation, Ecological and Social healing: A Multicultural Approach to Women’s Voices.



“Mississippi” is a book length poem about the Mississippi River, the mythic center of American culture. Incorporating Native American culture, colonial history, and American history, this work weaves fact, legend and lore, jazz and personal memory together with recent events, like Katrina, the BP oil disaster,  and pollution along the river and in the Gulf,  meandering and yet moving forcefully in one direction, as does the river.

Mississippi (excerpt)

The story
of the Mississippi.
the story of all rivers,
the story of me,
but larger
mythic, Mississippi,
Mischa, meaning beyond,
sipokni, ancient,
the myths fed by
these waters,
feeding the
all music,
first sound
the flow of blood
heart beat
just over the womb
echoing into
the waters there
the ear of the infant
to that beat.


The sound of
flowing, those  rivers
our first music
before Bach, folk, hip
hop, the waves
all around us,
in us, water,
what we cannot do without,
the blessing, the font
of all creation,
that river traveling
deep through the land, the middle,
leaving riches
at the banks, going
all the way down
to the edge
where the land that
held these waters
and the river
finally becomes
something new