Susan Gordon: Storyteller, writer, poet, teacher, & counselor

The Doe in the Winter Hayfield is available on Amazon and, even better, at two local independent book stores, The Curious Iguana Bookstore, 12 N. Market St, Frederick, MD and at Four Seasons Books, 116 W. German St. Shepherdstown, WV.   See the calendar for the dates and times for readings in each of these venues.

I am pleased to announce that a poem I wrote, There Is A Doe In The Winter Hayfield, has just won a nationally advertised poetry contest, the 2015 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Competition. Patricia Fargnoli, the judge of the competition says of the manuscript: “In Susan Gordon’s wonderful chapbook-length poem, she follows the body of a deer from its dying to its disintegration, ….day by day, change by change, and in so doing, gives us a gift about beauty, about death, about change, about the importance of paying precise and close attention to the amazing world.” When I first saw the deer she was a beautiful fawn and white doe, sweet faced, belly shot. Six months later, she was no more than a skull, spine, ribs, and one foreleg that I rescued from a field about to be hayed. I laid these few bones at the beginning of the woods in… [ click title for more ]

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On Becoming

On Becoming is a storytelling group for men and women over the age of 60. As we enter this phase of life, there is an invitation to note the way we have come and what matters to us now. It is a time to explore what we hope to yet accomplish and the legacy we want to leave. This group will begin with the telling of two literary tales, whose older protagonists, male and female, are models of the wisdom and tenacity needed to save what is most important to them. These stories invite awareness; they will help the listeners recognize the truly heroic journey we embark on in our elder years. The group will strengthen and deepen as the participants have the opportunity to interact with these stories and discover the way these stories call forth their own. The heart of this class is storytelling, for it is through… [ click title for more ]

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At Christmastide

I do not know what this letter wants to be, a patchwork, I think. So let me dive in and find my way. I have two songs rattling in my head. The first one is the black spiritual: Children, Go Where I Send Thee Children, Go Where I Send Thee How shall I send thee? I’m going to send thee one by one One for the little bitty baby born, born, born in Bethlehem. Children, Go Where I send thee. How shall I send thee? I am going to send thee two by two. Two for Paul and Silas One for the little bitty baby born, born, born in Bethlehem And on through the number twelve. I learned last night that this song of Jesus’s birth also taught counting to enslaved people who were not to read, write or cipher. And that seems just the answer to a world wildly… [ click title for more ]

Telling It Like It Is This summer, June 23-August 18, I will be offering Telling It Like It Is, a storytelling class for women. It will meet Tuesday evenings from 7:00 pm to 9:30 on my small farm in Ijamsville, MD. Telling It Like It Is invites the women in the class to explore their lives through the stories they choose to tell. There is no need to be a storyteller, just a woman curious about the way she has come and the paths she still wants to take. I taught a storytelling class for women for seven years from the barn on my old farm when I was in my late forties and we had wonderful, wild and poignant times. Twenty years later, remembering the stories that were told, I can still see the Armenian grandmother placing a comb on her dresser, the way, in the oldest telling of… [ click title for more ]

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Fierce for Dogs

I’ve been working on the RR woman story for more than a year and a half. The story started with a few hundred words in the voice of a woman who came from someplace beyond me, before me. She simply took over the page.  She came to me the way the dead dropped around her. She grabbed me by the throat and she hasn’t let go. She first appeared in November of 2012 and then she returned with a sharp-shooter’s aim in February of 2013. She stayed the RR woman for a long time; now she has a name: Liza, and the golden child, she calls her: Sarie. Liza has led me a merry chase. She was telling her tale her way. My sister said, “To enter this story, you have to suspend disbelief.” In the literary sense Liza may be an “unreliable narrator” but she always seemed more reliable than… [ click title for more ]

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15 Mile Creek

Better Said Than Done Storyteller Susan Gordon

1904 There is a railroad man dead on the tracks. That makes number four. Where’s they coming from? How these bodies finding me? No, I said the first time, I ain’t seeing that. But I got to walk round them. Learned I need to find some holy dirt, some creek water to baptize their bodies so they find their way home. Then they be rising into heaven or dropping into hell. The first one was what my Ma would have called a lady of the night, dressed in almost nothing and her panties, black. She had a red rose in her black hair, red lipstick smeared across her face.  She was the first. I didn’t know what to do except to make a cross against my chest and then to lean over and make a cross against hers too. I knew that. I knew for a fact, don’t call the… [ click title for more ]