Hear Her Roar: Alum, Ecofeminist Author Susan Griffin Isn't Going Away

Thursday, March 30, 2017
CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE -- Griffin, who was born in Los Angeles in 1943 and traveling north to San Francisco State to earn a Bachelor of Arts in 1965 and an Master of Arts in 1973, has long employed a prose style, often described as “collage,” that merges memoir, poetry, and research to examine ecology, politics, and feminism. She’s taught at UC Berkeley, Stanford University and California Institute of Integral Studies as an adjunct professor. But Griffin is more of a classic belles-lettres professional whose work is centered on publishing. She has edited multiple anthologies and written 21 books, encompassing nonfiction, works of poetry, plays and a screenplay, the 1990 documentary “Berkeley in the Sixties.” The Utne Reader, a respected quarterly, named Griffin one of 100 Visionaries For the New Millennium because her work, it wrote, “is a network of meaning in which everything illuminates everything else.” Griffin’s 1992 book, “A Chorus of Stones: The Private Life of War,” was a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics finalist in nonfiction. The National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim Foundation and the Macarthur Foundation have awarded the author with grants and fellowships. Last year, Griffin received the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Northern California Book Reviewers Association. Griffin recalled the summertime joys, as a young girl, of swimming in the Pacific and camping in the High Sierras. “Still, it became clear to me in 1974 while teaching a class at SF State in women’s literature,” she says, “that women had a different relationship to nature than men. I saw that women were presumed to have an immediate, direct connection. We were embedded, as if we are nature’s intimate partners.”