|Name Deena Metzger||Role Writer|
|Books Writing for your life, Entering the Ghost River, Tree, Doors, Looking for the faces of God|
Similar People Brenda Peterson, Linda Hogan, Barbara Peterson, Isabel Allende
Deena metzger on anais nin 1 3
Deena Metzger (born September 17, 1936) is an American writer, healer, and teacher whose work spans multiple genres including the novel, poetry, non-fiction, and plays.
- Deena metzger on anais nin 1 3
- Behind the screen interview with deena metzger
- Early life
- Professional experience
- Anthology publications
- Drama video and theatre productions
Her novel La Negra y Blanca won the 2012 Oakland Pen Award for Literature. She first introduced and convened Daré, monthly gatherings for community and individual healing in 1999 and then ReVisioning Medicine in 2004. Metzger is known her image in Hella Hamid's 1977 photograph, sometimes referred to as "The Warrior," or “Tree” poster, in which the post-mastectomy Metzger stands in a celebratory pose.
Behind the screen interview with deena metzger
Deena Metzger was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1936 to Arnold and Bella Posy. Metzger credits her parents for raising her "in a rich and committed Yiddish cultural and spiritual life." As a child, Metzger aspired to write poetry and would often go on long walks along the beach in Sea Gate for inspiration. She first attended college in 1953 at Brandeis University and Brooklyn College in 1955. She became the co-editor for the Brooklyn College literary journal with Shela Pearl. During her time as an editor, she met Victor Perera (writer) and began a life-long friendship with the fellow artist and activist. When Metzger was a teenager she promised herself she would finish her first novel by the age of 25, which she did, completing Waterwall in 1960, although this work was never published. She received an M.A. in English and American Literature from UCLA. A Community College Teaching Certificate from UCLA in 1966. She received a PhD in Literature and Women's Culture from International College, 1975 and
In May 1969, Metzger was teaching an English class at Los Angeles Valley College and was fired for “immoral conduct” and “evident unfitness to teach” when teaching a unit applying Supreme Court decisions regarding literature and pornography. She subsequently brought the case to court and was reinstated in 1972. She also taught in the Critical Studies Department at the California Institute for the Arts from 1970 to 1975. There she taught the first class in Journal writing.
From 1973 to 1978 she was the director of the writing program for the Woman's Building and the Feminist Studio Workshop in Los Angeles. The Woman's Building was the first feminist institution of higher learning outside of a university.
In 1977 she discovered she had breast cancer, and had a mastectomy. Later, she was photographed by Hella Hammid for a poster that showed her naked from the waist up, with a tattoo covering the scar from her mastectomy. This became known as the “Tree Poster” or the Warrior Poster, also called "I Am No Longer Afraid". Deena writes:
“Our intention in turning it into a poster was to invite the world to look at a one-breasted woman and exult in her health and vitality. An alliance with the life force on all levels resulted from meeting the illness as a messenger – it called me to change my life in ways that would show themselves to be good for me and for the community.” (See "Poster" below.)
Metzger and Theater Director, Steven Kent, recovered the ancient rites of the Eleusinian Mysteries and re-enacted them in Greece for the first time in 1,500 years in 1980. The inspiration came from producing the play ″Dreams Against the State″ which she wrote and Kent directed.
She was co-editor of "Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals," with Linda Hogan and Brenda Peterson, a critical text on animal intelligence and agency, that speaks also to the profound knowledge that is gathered when relationships are intimate rather than alienated, or "objective." Her work with and on behalf of the animals, the non-humans, deepened when she met the Elephant Ambassador in Botswana, on four separate occasions from 1999 to 2011.
In 2004, her work as a healer took a new form when she initiated ReVisioning Medicine, an alliance between medical and medicine people to create a medicine that does no harm to humans or the earth. In 2009, she began teaching the 19 Ways to the 5th World. She is also on the Faculty of the Kerulos Center. The Deena Metzger Literature of Restoration Fellowship at Mesa Refuge was offered to novelist Stan Rusworth in 2015.
She currently lives in Topanga, California.
From 1975-1995 Metzger worked in a private practice as a counselor. She continues her healing and creative work and consultations into the present with people individually and in groups. In April 1999, Metzger initiated the Blue Flag Daré for community, creativity, and healing. Metzger has also convened ReVisioning Medicine, a council that connects Western medical practitioners and indigenous healers to engage in a dialogue with the goal of reshaping how medicine is understood and practiced.
Metzger is a creative writing teacher and feminist scholar. In the 1960's and 1970's Metzger was a member of the Critical Studies faculty at the California Institute of the Arts, taught English at Los Angeles Valley College, and was on the faculty of the Feminist Studio Worship. Metzger also founded the writing program at Woman's Building in Los Angeles. Metzger was a contributing editor to Chrysalis: A Magazine of Women's Culture that ran from 1977 to 1980 in Woman's Building.
Performed in 1980, 1990, and 1997, Metzger collaborated with Steve Kent, Michael Ortiz Hill, and Michelle George in their enactment of The Eleusinian Mysteries in Greece. This ritual had not been practiced in Greece for 1500 years.
'Tree, the mastectomy poster,' has been widely circulated and has appeared in various film and television documentaries, journals and newspapers including The Village Voice, Revolution Nursing Journal, Common Ground, the Detroit Metro Times, Our Bodies Our Selves, Women's Spirit Source Book and was the cover of the Oklahoma County Medical Society, April, 90. This photograph is canonized in the body of art made by breast cancer survivors.
Photograph by Hella Hammid, words by Deena Metzger, poster design by Shiela Levrant de Bretteville. (Wingbow Press, 1989). 24"x17". Inscription reads:
"I am no longer afraid of mirrors where I see the sign of the Amazon, the one who shoots arrows. There was a fine line across my chest where a knife entered, but now a branch winds about the scar and travels from arm to heart. Green leaves cover the branch, grapes hang there and a bird appears. What grows in me now is vital and does not cause me harm. I think the bird is singing. I have relinquished some of the scars. I have designed my chest with care given to an illuminated manuscript. I am no longer ashamed to make love. Love is a battle I can win. I have a body of a warrior who does not kill or wound. On the book of my body, I have permanently inscribed a tree."
Drama, video and theatre productions
2012, PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award for her novel, “La Negra y Blanca” published by Hand to Hand, 2011.
"Two Writers in a Friendship of Unabashed Exposure : Barbara Myerhoff and Deena Metzger," Lilith, Volume 25, No. 2, Summer 2000. Winner Simon rockower Award/ American Jewish Press Association, Excellence in Special Sections or Supplements Magazine, June 2001.
First annual Vesta Award in Writing, the Woman's Building, Los Angeles. 1982
Writing Fellowship the National Endowment for the Arts, 1978.
The first Academic Freedom Award, the California Federation of Teachers, 1975 after being reinstated by a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of California to her tenured teaching position at Los Angeles Valley College from which Metzger had been fired in 1969. This decision was regarded as a significant victory for the cause of academic freedom.