Susan Griffin

Poet, Creative Nonfiction Writer

904 Keeler Ave
Berkeley, CA 94708-1420
510-508 3660

Author's Bio


SUSAN GRIFFIN is poet author of twenty books, playwright, and a Pulitzer Prize finalist.  Susan Griffin known for shedding a new light on many contemporary issues, including climate change, war, colonialism, the body, democracy, and terrorism.    An Emmy award winning playwright and a poet, celebrated for her innovative style, her books are also works of literature.  Woman and Nature, is an extended prose-poem, just published in a new edition by Counterpoint Press. A Chorus of Stones: the Private Life of War, blends history and memoir as does What her Body Thought, Wrestling with the Angel of Democracy: the Autobiography of an American Citizen, all of which belong to a series she calls “a social autobiography.”  The Book of the Courtesans: A Catalogue of Their Virtues, a bestseller, renders a radically new interpretation of an erotic tradition, while engaging in parody by inverting common moralistic judgments against women’s sexuality, claiming these as virtues. Among her many awards and honors, she has been given the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement by the Northern California Book Reviewers,  a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Northern California Book Award for non-fiction, an honorary doctorate from the Graduate Theological Union, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Commonwealth Silver Award for Poetry. A Chorus of Stones was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and won the Northern California Book Award, and her play “Voices” won an Emmy for a local production. Griffin has also contributed a number of essays to anthologies including a collection she edited for UC Press, titled Transforming Terror: Remembering the Soul of the World, with contributions by authors from over 24 countries, that offers a new paradigm for moving the world beyond violence. In 2012, this collection was given the prestigious Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. The adopted daughter of painter and sculptor Morton Dimondstein, she has written several essays about artists, the most recent a piece in response to the work of Jim Hodges.  She is concluding a long poem about the Mississippi River and at work on a new book called Strong Man. More about her work can be found at


Publications & Prizes

Creative Nonfiction

The Book of the Courtesans: A Catalogue of Their Virtues (Broadway Books, 2001)
Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her (Sierra Club Books, 2000)
What Her Body Thought (Harper Collins, 1999)
A Chorus of Stones (Random House, 1992)
Woman and Nature (Counterpoint Press, 1978)
Like the Iris of an Eye (Harper & Row, 1976)
Voices (Feminist Press at CUNY, 1975)
Let Them Be Said (Ma Ma Press, 1973)
The Sink (Shameless Hussy Press, 1973)
Le Viol (L'Etincelle, 1972)
Dear Sky (Shameless Hussy Press, 1971)
City Lights Review
L.A. Times
Mother Jones
Utne Reader


Made From This Earth: An Anthology of Writing by Susan Griffin (Harper & Row, 1982)
Bending Home: Poems Selected & New (Copper Canyon Press, 1998)
Unremembered Country (Copper Canyon Press, 1988)
Journals: ,
Kenyon Review
Prizes won: 

Guggenheim Foundation Grant, NEA Fellowship, Emmy Award, Finalist for Pultizer Prize, Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement, Northern Califonria Book Award for Non Fiction, Women's Fundation Award for Women in the Arts. Commonwealth Club Silver Medal for Poetry, Honorary Doctorate from Graduate Theological Union

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
H.D, Marcel Proust, Elizabeth Rosner, John Berger, Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Tony Morrison, Adrienne Rich, Patrick Modiano, Tolstoi
What I'm reading now: 
Essential Essays by Adrienne Rich by ed Sandra Gilbert, Into the War by Italo Calvino

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
European American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Los Angeles, CA
Raised in: 
Los Angeles, CA
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: May 01, 2019