Friday, May 30, 2008

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Please share your thoughts here. If you like, leave your name and location. Click on "comments" to leave your remarks. You do not need a Blogger account to post--you can choose the "Anonymous" option and give your name in the body of the post. To read what others have written, click on "Welcome to the Guestbook," directly above.


Anonymous said...

(or The Trick Is Going Home)

For Paula Gunn Allen

I am the real Hollywood Indian,
born there on Sunset & Vermont in the heyday long before
Wounded Knee and Alcatraz and the movement
back when we were just “colored”,
and we tried on the Mestizo accent
oOf East Los,
and the signifying trait of Esu at the towers,
but later that voice became red and we spoke the language
of the colonizers
and we began to sing the songs of our own tongues cut out
by force from our mouths and red lines drawn in the blood
shell color of our ancestors
and I was that ancestor
on Sunset and Vermont.

I am the real Hollywood Indian,
with my squash blossoms turning to silver butterflies in the breeze
in the old Los Angeles haze
and eagle vision spirit eye of the mountains at night,
the sparkle of city lights over a
haze of heat and desert air that causes me to breathe,
and I am flying
at night in the stars where I can see
through the eyes of the eagle,
Wahaliatka, Eagle Woman.

I am the real Hollywood Indian,
not some Miss Thang turned California golden child,
sniffing the remnants of some china cup and saucer
thrown to the night wolves along Sunset and Gower –
their studio is my front yard-
and I act out desires on flesh and blood,
red lines on paper, tea and scones at sundown,
boy of the moment no longer and I am more real than you will ever

I am the real Hollywood Indian,
a blessing and burden of myth,
a howl on a night wind, vision and virgin light from the dead stars above,
down through the canyons loping with a bay moon of time and
space and all that is between
and I am still here,
Watching creation spin on its axis and spitting out the stars

I am the real Hollywood Indian,
the one who left and remained the same,
who emerged from dark desert canyons and minds of frightened girls,
who lived to tell the tale and keeps telling,
shouting out blood to all who will listen,
spitting red on a page to all who will hear
and I am still here.

I am the real Hollywood Indian,
a ceremony in the making.
On Sunset and Vermont running on all fours,
a hat of black velvet covering my youth, my blessed age,
my being and continuing that is the song of my mother,
and I will not tell you again,
my words have been spoken.

I am the real Hollywood Indian,
speechless and serene in my rage
and I will scream at the top of my voice
until I can no longer force it back up,
birthing stars and dreaming the Sun,
new visions and new ceremonies
and I will call you home.

I am the real Hollywood Indian,
the trickster who birthed herself,
Wahalitka, Eagle Woman,
sharp-eyed, fierce-lipped,
denied everything, given nothing
save for the hawk at my back,
the thorn in my side,
silver butterflies visioning heaven,
caustic vision and ancestral memory in the eye of the eagle,
and I will see you reborn.

© 2001 Carolyn Dunn

Anonymous said...

I will miss her so much. She was my dearest cousin, I loved her honored and admired her so much.There are no words to describe my feelings of love, appreciation and gratitude for her being in my life. We grew up together, she was more a sister to me. We hiked the hills in Laguna and Cubero, ran along the arroyos when the rain would flood them, sat under the cottonwoods and talked of our dreams. Through the years,we spoke often on the telephone, I live in Austin Tx, she in Calif., but we had long wonderful convesations about my painting and her writing and everything else. I can't believe she is gone, but not that far, she will always be with me. I do love her so. My deepest sympathy to Lauralee and Sully.

Karen Darr
1729 Brazos Bend
Smithville, Tx 78957

Melissa said...

I am shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of this amazing Native woman. It is because of her book "Grandmother's of the Light" that I became a Goddess woman. Her work touched my heart and made an enormous impact on my life. My heart goes out to her family. --Melissa

Anonymous said...

I popped the gigantic pilgrims balloon at the Macy's Thanksgivingday Parade with a pushpin. It fizzled, crumpling slowly as the hot air hissed awy leaving a rubber delated pilgrim on the asphalt. the children were angry and had me arested I tried to tell them the pilgrims were thieves and murderers, but they handcuffed me with American UnHistory books, that also leave out the 1915 Armenian Genocide by the Turks which also featured death by deportation and the real estate rape of Mother Earth. I had really wanted Paula's poems included in our art exhibit violence Against Lesbians of Color and the Love that Empowers Us. Finally her friend Lavonne persisted and got her permission and now we are making a collage of any pictures of her we can find and reading her poems in honor of her memory. She is as it should be. Zaum

Anonymous said...

shawl poem
for paula

by joanna brooks (c)
reprinted with permission

you wove yourself a shawl of words
wrapped it tight about you
lifted your chin
and high-stepped in
to kick off the grand entry

you wove yourself a shawl of names
tsechenako kochinnenako hwame
porivo koshkalaka pocahontas

you wove yourself a shawl of thoughts
gynocratic theosophic cosmic
profane sacred fearsome funny

you pierced the edges with your awl,
your sharp eyesight, your anger,
your fierce love for the thoughtworlds
destroyers could not claim

you leapt right in, a riot of fringe,
a fractal trail of pollen,
a spiral of stars,
your laugh a revolt against drought and boredom

we all fell in behind you

some of us looked both ways first
some of us kept an ancient rhythm
some of us tripped along in shiny black heels
and some sulked backwards in muddy boots
too proud to call you auntie

we are cree sioux cherokee osage breed pinoy
dykes and white girls who just love a drum
we are women who wear the shawl of words
you wove against oblivion

Anonymous said...

Aunt Paula, Thank you for the times we spent together. It always felt like home whenever I came by and the warm welcome was always the same. The Christmas I remember the most is the one that you made possible for my brother miguel and I. It is not possible for words alone to express the magnitude of our loss, I only know the depths of mine alone. I will never forget your kindness and wisdom that you freely shared with all.

Spyke said...

Well I wondered why I was so down today. I am saddened to learn of our loss and also joyful that PGA passed in a "sacred death" into the realm of thee Ancestors.

I was honored to have learned from her and her indigenous stories that served to reprogram the Western mind. In her view there were no beginnings or endings, just the process of "pondering," of thinking creatively, of going deeper in exploration of a more primal, and humane, aspect of humanity.

I had the honor of taking a class with her and then being asked to TA for her in a subsequent class. I watched our Western CIIS students struggle, in the same way I did, with her way of teaching that took us out of the academic box that we think means regurgitating theory. No, she asked us in class to take on awareness of another part of our minds and consciousness. She requested that we remember! She was having none of the business as usual and I was honored to be a part of that process.

I loved how she called herself "Indian" rather than "Native American" because that is how she chose to name herself. I honored her way of expressing herself, rather than how we "Moderns" (her term), in our own attempt to heal, would name her. She was decisive in her passion to invoke true remembrance. I do not think it was easy for her being a bridge between ontologies, between ways of being on the planet. I do not think it was an easy task to be both Indian and Western, a woman and a Lesbian. Wow, how many bridges does one woman have to straddle? I am grateful she kept the stories, based in the female, in the physics of it, alive, and passed it on as a teacher.

I am burning a candle for her. And weirdly, I never actually looked into her face, but I am honored to say that she gave me some of her time and some of her love. It was one of the greatest gifts of my life for her to say in her witty, crone-like vernacular, "yeah you're ok," as I wrote about the spider in my lemon tree that was teaching me, a Westerner, as I digested her indigenous stories that had no linear, and to a Western mind, no satisfaction of a beginning, middle and happy or reconciled ending because of her teachings. I could do no less and it was disorienting as as Western scholar, to study by the lemon tree with thee spider. I take that as her legacy, at least as this Western Modern feminist daughter who is desperately trying to remember. I honor her as my teacher and as a woman who did what we all try to do, that is, make a difference in shifting the dominant patriarchal paradigm.

My thoughts are, that if you wanna honor her, then you read the stories in Grandmothers and in Hoop, and be uncomfortable for a minute, to reconnect and be willing to re-pattern your own self in relation to self and community. Again, I couldn't be more honored in my virtual and psychic relationship with her.

In the light and in the darkness. Blessings and gratitude.
Elisabeth (Spyke) Sikie

Anonymous said...

My partner, Carmen Goodyear, and I are saddened by the news of Paula's passing. We only met her once, five months ago, during a video interview at her home. Those two hours with Paula meant so much to us both - a soul-opening encounter with an extraordinary woman!

Bless you and thank you Paula. You were a bright light of wisdom here on Earth and I can only imagine your brilliance in the spirit world...

-Laurie York

Unknown said...

June 1, 2008
Dear Paula, for you. Fur toed on earth, I, sit in sun and for you. Please, still riding the big black locomotive through the air, waving your hand. I miss you, friend, commadre. These days, for you. Sand, mist, walking, it's okay. Keep hold of our hands. You are not lost but found. Not foundering, afloat. Watch for footprints, feathers, heart shaped shell. Watch the lacy foam will bring you home. For you, Paula. You helped lift this waif out of a torture chamber gutter. For you. Robert, Annie, Tolemy, Bekah, King, Leeya, Ruth, blessed, blessed, blessed. Stay connected dear heart, so you can fly away. Watuppa, Laguna, Lebanon, North Africa, Ireland, Scotland, kin. Oh, kin. Soul. Lead the way again. Leading the way. A sacred death, handmaiden, a tranquil going, a warm, warm, welcome. Mary, Gene, your dad, ma, grandma, all waiting. You are safe. You are safe. Lynette, Clayton, Keala, my ma. Heart, Paula, love. For you.

Anonymous said...

I have always respected and learned from you, your humor and spirit have helped to shape me in my younger years when all my Aunties and Uncles and Cousins were together on or near Collingwood in San Francisco. Your passing saddens me, but I know that you are free of pain and are catching up with Gaga, Papa, Gene, and Lee. I hope to reconnect with your children, my cousins again soon...hopefully to bridge a long gap of time lost.

May your Spirit soar unfettered on the Other Side!

Anonymous said...

I was so proud to be accepted into a UCLA writing seminar with Paula Gunn Allen - the chances so slim, it was like being published. I admired Paula greatly and was honored to study with her in this seminar and again in a Women in Fiction course. She helped me unwrap my woman's voice and find others as mentors and models. Her novel, The Woman Who Owned the Shadows, showed me another way to see my family's struggle with "mental illness" as defined by Western medicine. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Jeanette Long
Your name is all too familiar to me, I read your books, your poems, your thoughts of being, WOW. You have paved the way for Native Women in the most intricate way, The Beauty the end you have return to Beauty. Ahehee(thank you).

My condolences to Paula's family, friends, and colleagues. My prayers go out to you.

Unknown said...


My mother has been called a lot of things: Scholar, poet, teacher, feminist, spiritualist, author and authority. Some people even got around to calling her 'Paula'. But to me, she only had one name. She was 'Mom'. None of that other stuff mattered. I just took it for granted that she was such an amazing person. Mothers are always a wonder in the eyes of their children.

I can't even begin to enumerate the effect she had on me as a person. While far from the sole influence in my development, she was the one to give me a foundation on which to build the many other conflicting elements that gave structure to my life. I guess you could say that my father taught me facts, but it was my mother who taught me how to think.

This is a really chaotic time for me right now. There is so much that I want to do, so many things that I want to say. Eternity isn't long enough. I keep thinking that as I'm standing here, I should do some ceremony, some sort of ritual to mark her passing, but it all feels so hollow. I think she knows the way from here, far better than I would. All that I can do is the one thing I don't want to. It's time to say goodbye.

I love you Mom.

-Delivered graveside, monday, June 2, 2008

Anonymous said...

Paula wove in and out of my life at many points, sometimes as Paula the wonderful, life-spilling being that she was, sometimes as Paula the scholar who opened up roads to myriad forms of consciousness, sometimes as Paula the gifted poet and storyteller. Always as Paula who was open to everyone--but took no prisoners. When teaching her work, I thought often of her way of laughing as if laughter were the key to generosity and wisdom. It was at Paula's house that I first saw a ghost cat. How she delighted in telling me the cat I had seen strolling down the hallway had been dead for a long time. It was a gift that transformed my life, filled now with ghost cats whenever I need to remember all the worlds seen and unseen.

Anonymous said...

I'll always remember you my dear friend from the years we shared together in the UCLA English Dept. office. Your wisdom has always been a guiding force in my life. My prayers go out to your family and many friends.
-jeanette gilkison

Anonymous said...

My prayers go to Paula's family - she is a great gift to the people and will always be remembered for the generosity of her writings. May the pain of your loss pass quickly and be replaced with the warm memories of what she means to all of you.

Anonymous said...


I never met you, except through your books and articles. I have been working with your material for the last six months on an article I hope to publish in the near future. You inspired me and opened my eyes to a whole new world.

I consider you as one of my mentors. Thank you for your guidance.

We will miss you.

KT said...

Paula shepherded me through many crucial life searches. When I wrote as an undergraduate, I aspired to craft the language she would want to read. More than just my undergraduate thesis advisor at UCLA (as bureacratic and clinical as that sounds), PGA changed my world, changed my mind, and showed me how to be fierce in an unforgiving academy. She never stopped dreaming, and I will always carry her stubborn hope with me. One of my greatest regrets is having lost touch. Thank you Paula--for your generosity, wisdom and strength of heart.
- Karen Tongson

Anonymous said...

Paula was one of the vital forces behind the creation of a field of study for Native American Literature. I first met her when I was in graduate school at UNM. She was always encouraging and insightful. Starting with her work on the NEH seminar in Flagstaff and continuing throughout her career as a writer, scholar and teacher, she provided help, wisdom and balance. She will be deeply missed by many.

Jim Ruppert

Unknown said...

From the Native American Studies Program, University of California at Berkeley:

Paula Gunn Allen was a faculty member in Native American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley in the mid-1980s, before she joined the Faculty at UCLA. She was a profound presence in the intellectual community of Native American Studies and the Ethnic Studies Department at Cal, and her commitment to making scholarly interventions continue to inspire us in pursuing questions that matter for our students and communities, and for our situation at this critical point in world events. We mourn our colleague's passing, honor her life and writings, and wish her family well.

Respectfully, Ruth Hopper, Stella Moore, Beth Piatote, Tom Biolsi

Unknown said...


My mother’s name was Shimanna
Which mean ‘raincloud’ in our language.
It was a name bestowed upon her
By a wise old elder
Steeped in secret lore.
It was a ceremonial token
Of her entrance to his sacred lodge
The secret gathering place of the tribe.
But it was not an indian name.
The tradition was not Laguna.
The tradition was not Sioux.
The one who named her was gay
And the token he gave bespoke,
Years ahead of its time,
Her admittance to that tribe.

Unknown said...

I have never met Paula in person, she was referred to me in 2004 when we in the Cherokee Nation were fighting for the marriage of a lesbian couple married under our tribal laws. Paula was very helpful, referring me to various community organizations which eventually lead us all the way to the Center For Lesbian Rights who represented the case in tribal court. The case remains court today, awaiting a decision on a third lawsuit filed against the women and their marriage by the Cherokee Nation Court Clerk. I wish I had gotten to know Paula, but what little I knew was profound and compelling. Her body of work will live well beyond her and is already a reliable resource for women and two-spirit people. her death is a great loss to not only the two-spirit community, but to everyone.
David Cornsilk

Anonymous said...

I first came to really know about Paula Gunn Allen when I reviewed her book THE SACRED HOOP for a feminist journal. Thanks to my and Paula's mutual friend, Seneca scholar and writer Barbara Mann, I was able to invite Paula to contribute to books I edited this past year, a Native anthology (forthcoming ... will be in memoriam for Paula and also Sandy Taylor of Curbstone Press) and the Spring 2008 Issue of Yellow Medicine Review:

After I learned of Paula's going home to dance (as I like to think of it), I wrote the following poem in tribute to her ... my way of saying "Thank You, Niawen, Paula Gunn Allen, for all the brave and beautiful poetry of you" ...

Home Calling
(for Paula Gunn Allen)

Lately New Mexico calls to me.
Maybe it’s the friends,
maybe mesas or some purity
of light that never left
my heart when I waved
"Vaya con Dios" to Taos. I
still see that young woman blaze
like dawn along canyon walls,
believing warmth will soften
any hardness. She comes as
a stranger now, her face
in mirrors rock, no sun
touching the shadow places
with holy fire.

Here in the East I’ve grown
too sad, eyes clouded
with falling towers
on a stolen island –

here, after you died
in the night, Paula,
I recalled winter’s
conversation, you
lilting "Lately
New Mexico calls
to me" in 1940’s gin
and cigarette voice,
lung cancer and chemo
further roughening
the mix. Certainly
we spoke about mixings,
two mixed bloods, breeds,
yearning for home,
some steady earth
balancing our feet.
And I’ll carry forever

understandings you gifted to me
from north California beach –
"Many mixed bloods, especially
women, feel chronic fatigue.
The bloods war against
each other inside our bodies.
My Scots-Laguna mother
taught me that." We half-
laughed about others failing
to notice our terrible
tiredness. You joked, "Yeah,
they think we’re normal,
never suspect we’re about
to faint, or worse,
we’re poets."

Lately friends urge me
to write happy poems
and odes of joy call to me
as New Mexico calls –

then, Paula, I remember
your death song, "Despite
the cancer, despite my house
burning to the ground, I
won’t give up. I’ll grow
stronger. I’ll dance again
at Laguna Pueblo."

New Mexico called you all
the way, Paula. In my grief
I dance with you, your
beloved trumpet vines
in bloom, hummingbirds
whirring deep
into orange flowerings
of happiness,
you a pain-free girl
blossomed with bird energy.
Sparkly eyed daughter
of dawn, I hear you –
laughter of last stars,
dreams of turquoise,
sage-fragrant limbs
flying, shining.

Paula, it’s over, the split
life, the wars inside
and out, the human
cruelties, stupidities.
Sister to so many of us,
welcome home.

© Susan Deer Cloud 6.3.08

Anonymous said...

Paula was a foundational lesbian artist and thinker, and a pioneer figure in the development of lesbian thought.

pcc said...

For the one who believed.

I looked at you over a cup of coffee and told you. .. "Blake knew you know. He says so right here. He knew about North Americans and their spiritual practices."
"Prove it." you said. And I did, and after you always believed.

I had the pleasure of meeting
Mother Gunn and your father Lee who spun yarn with the best of them.

We passed in and out of each others lives at those crucial moments. . .You sent me to Pat Smith and UNM. And I would find the books for you that you had dreamed upon. The last of which you even added as a frontispiece to Pocohantas.

I heard much of Suleiman- the boy you loved and the spirit that inspired you and Laura the daughter that made you beam with pride.

It hasn't been more than a few months since last we spoke after we were out of touch for so long. I encouraged you to come to Whidbey Island for Hedgebrook to write and nourish your soul and see me again.

You will always be remembered by me and many others. And to Laura, Suleiman and Pat know that my thoughts are with you.

Sincerely, Paul Cerda

Anonymous said...

Hello to all... My name is Christy and I was Paula`s caregiver. I cant get a grasp of what has happened! I can barely write this without falling apart.
Paula must have known that her time was close because a few days before her death she said to me, "Sit down! I want you to do some dictation." She asked me to read these at her memorial, I promised her I would.
Before I go any further I would like to say that even in death Paula has left me one thing that will forever change my life. I will never agian take people/ things for granted. Her and I both expected her to still be calling me at 5:30am to ask me what I was doing? and what time was I coming to work? ha.. ha.. Oh, how I miss those calls! Im a wreck
Anyway, here is the first letter;

Look here folks I have an announcement to make. I smoke! I want you to all hear this in public because the chances are good that I will go out with a cigarette in my hand. I know this makes some of you really angry and other people not so much. I know that however you respond is your business. I do not want to hear anything about it. My goal in death is to die calmly and peacefully and I dont intend to spend the next few months in turmoil. I want to die a sacred death. I want everyone to know I have enjoyed every cigarette I have smoked!

Anonymous said...

As I sit here trying to absorb the fact that you are gone, I am remembering you,Sulli and Laura. I remember our first meeting in Albuquerque. I remember your eyes, your hair, I remember you. I have always treasured the years we were together and the time spent with you talking and talking. I remember the new car you bought. You said now who could resist a white car named Spirit. I remember so much of our time together, my mind races with rememberences. It is hard to settle on any one thing.
So many rememberences. I remember the good times, the close times, I try to remember all the times..

I will miss you. And as always I will continue loving you.


PS: Laura and Sulli if you wish to reach me I can be found at:


Anne said...

Paula Gunn Allen was a strong inspiration for me even though I only met her through the texts she wrote. I would like to thank her for always standing for what she believed in. I wish her peace.

Anne Jobin

Anonymous said...


A life remembered is a life most definitely lived, whether it was short, or long, or somewhere in between.

It’s not just grand moments or events that should be remembered but the everyday things…the little moments, the common occurrences, the repetitiveness that makes us who we really are…the real living breathing memorable human being… happy and sad…healthy and sick…good, bad, and indifferent.

During each and everyday of our lives…without exception…we touch the lives of others in one-way or another. Family, friends, complete strangers, all those who cross our paths are somehow affected, touched, or changed…even if in the most minute way.

When we look back we see a seemingly endless trail of people and places that were part of that one life…the life we gather to remember…the life we pay tribute to…the life lived by someone we love…yes still love…because it is in remembering that whole life…that day to day life…that real life… that we are able to keep that one very real person…loved person…with us, in our hearts and in our minds.

Sherrill M. Tittermary

Mary Churchill said...

This old Zen story crossed my path this morning. Paula loved/loves a good story. Mary Churchill

Daowu and Jianyuan went to a house to offer condolences. Jianyuan struck the coffin with his hand and asked, “Alive or dead?”

Daowu said, “I’m not saying alive, I’m not saying dead.”

Jianyuan asked, “Why not?”

Daowu said, “I’m not saying! I’m not saying!”

On the way home, Jianyuan said, “Say something right now, Teacher. If you don’t, I’m going to hit you.”

Daowu said, “You can hit me, but even if you hit me, I’m not saying.” Jianyuan hit him.

After Daowu passed away, Jianyuan went to Shishuang and told him this story.

Shishuang said, “I’m not saying alive, I’m not saying dead.”

Jianyuan asked, “Why not?”

Shishuang said, “I’m not saying! I’m not saying!”

At these words Jianyuan had an insight.

One day Jianyuan took a hoe, went into the teaching hall, and crossed from east to west and back again from west to east.

“What are you doing?” asked Shishuang.

Jianyuan said, “I’m searching for the sacred bones of our late teacher.”

Shishuang said, “Waves flood every place, whitecaps overwhelm the sky. What sacred bones of our teacher are you looking for?”

Jianyuan said, “This is just what I need to strengthen me.”

Fu of Taiyuan said, “The sacred bones of the late teacher are still here.”

From John Tarrant’s wonderful book, _Bring Me the Rhinoceros and Other Zen Koans to Bring You Joy_ (New York: Harmony, 2004), 66-67.

Anonymous said...

Christy, thank you for sharing her words and yours. And thank you for everything else.

Paula helped make me what I am.
I saw a funny, chain smoking, Indian woman, who looked back at a young, uncertain Jewish woman who had given up on her tradition, given up on her intellectual life, and she sent her back to do what she was meant to do. That was 20 years ago.

There are so many moments and so many thoughts I wish I could share still. But that’s about me, not about her. She knows. She always knew. I am only just getting around to it.

Her words will always be here, and, yes, her laugh, and that long look and the smile. A shake of the head that said, ‘hey, there’s nothing more I can tell you, go find it yourself.’

She told me, ‘see what needs doing and do it.’ I spend lots of time washing dishes and doing laundry; they always need doing. I spent a couple of days holding her hand, brushing her hair.
Wish I could have done more.

Anonymous said...

I was lucky to have had a chance to take two of Professor Paula Gunn Allen's class as an undergraduate at UCLA in the mid-90s and I can only say that never have I had such an incredible and innovative teacher with which to work with. The vibrancy of those classes and discussions that i had with her in office hours remains as a memory to me even now. I read news of her passing with sadness and a deep sense of loss. You will be missed.

Anonymous said...

The years on Collingwood, and Fire Mountain Institute, are among my favorites when I was witness to poetic ideas being turned into, for me, a joyous reality. Thank you for so much. Paula, I celebrate your life and feel blessed that I had a short role in it. I wish you peace and reunion. May Beauty follow you wherever.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Paula personally, but she sounds like a wonderful woman and I am truly sorry to hear of her passing. My deepest condolences to her family and friends, as she is truly someone to be missed. Please do remember that she is not gone, but has only moved on to her next journey, that next phase we all reach one day which allows us to evolve beyond the need for material things, even our bodies. Brightest blessings and many prayers of healing,

Reno, NV

Anonymous said...

In the class at UCLA, we walked in and saw this famous Indian scholar, happy as a kid, playing with fractals. You fed us pasta dinners in Malibu, played MadLibs with us, helped us all know that we were going to get through somehow. The most famous of all our profs, and yet the one who was mom to us, who didn’t give a damn about all the hype.

Playing with your new computer in Hollywood, watching the stars from the deck in Idyllwild, blissed out by the mandolin and banjo in Berkeley, pulling your oxygen tank out of the coffee shop in Fort Bragg, laughing in your trailer, the creek gurgling out back. So ironic, fire and water. What could burn, with the Pacific to the west, the endless rain of Mendocino, a creek right under the trailer? But you were paradoxes, start to finish. Brilliant academic, hard smoking, hard living, opinionated but non-judgmental, a mom and a mentor.

Thanks, Paula. You were the elder and protector, and you taught us that playing by the rules just isn’t much fun in the end, is it?

Suzy Shimek
Los Angeles, California

Rebecca said...

I knew Paula Gunn Allen through her writings. I was saddened to hear of her death. May she dwell in the land of the Ancestors and may her words dwell in our hearts.

Anonymous said...

I never met her in this life
but her words
were friends

Condolences to all who loved her.

Christina Pacosz

Anonymous said...

Iam from Germany, please excuse my bad school english. I've read essays of her and great writings. I only want to say, that the world lost some of it's greatest women.
Sincere condolences to her family and friends!

Anonymous said...

My name is Ellen Marie Hinchcliffe.
I started working on a documentary about Paula last September.

After emailing her out of the blue and a few phone calls she invited me to come stay with her and do some filming. I spent a lovely week with her doing interviews and filming her tooling around in her Ford Escort.

I last talked to her in April and we made plans for me to come out this summer for more filming and to travel together to New Mexico this fall.

I thought I would share a short clip I had put together with some of the video I shot. At times I watch this footage and cry and cry other times I smile and smile and always it is her...her brilliant, laughing self. To watch the video please go to-

This video project feels as vital and important as ever. I hope when the time is right that family and close friends will want to engage with and add to this documentary.

For now my prayers and thoughts are with all of her family and dear ones. She changed my life.

With great respect and affection,
Ellen Marie Hinchcliffe

I am happy to answer any questions about this project.
2021 26 Ave S. #2
Minneapolis, MN 55406

Anonymous said...

I just realized if you click on my name it will take you directly to the site to watch the video. Thanks.

et said...

I just heard today & I am very sad. Paula was the smartest kindest teacher I could ever have hoped to have and her work, example, & fortitude, & wit, will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life....

I wrote an essay about studying with her at Berkeley which is excerpted here:

She was a visionary and an ordinary in both best senses of the words. Such a dear person. My sympathies & thoughts to all her family.

Love, Elizabeth Treadwell-Jackson

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure and honor of working with Paula in late 2007 and early 2008 on a panel discussion on First Nations Two Spirit and African “Twin Spirit” (a term we coined honoring Native Two Spirit traditions, and pointing to similar traditions throughout Africa) peoples. (Details of the panel are at .)

She was so excited to be one of the key elders sharing her wisdom and insights. We knew that her health wouldn’t allow her to make the trip to LA, where the panel discussion was held, so we’d planned to patch her in by conference call. However, just in case the conference call technology didn’t work when we needed it, we decided to have a fallback: we had two filmmakers do an interview with her in advance of the panel discussion, which we had available as a DVD statement from Paula, ready to play if the conference call technology failed us. Fortunately, the conference call worked – and we filmed the panel discussion. So we have great footage of Paula in a one-hour interview, and then as part of a panel discussion that lasted one and one-half hours. We look forward to making both of these available to the world as soon as we get completion funds to complete the films.

I was thrilled and honored to work with Paula. She stands as such a great inspiration for so many of us Two Spirits – and for the world in general. I remember first seeing & hearing her speak in a few film documentaries on Two Spirits in the 1990s. Remembering her life, her struggles, her victories, her wisdom compelled me to get in touch with her years later to be a part of the panel discussions. We were blessed to have the gift of her presence, and fortunate to have filmed her so that her spirit and wisdom can be shared with the world.

Auntie, I miss having you present with us in physical form. I so looked forward to bringing into being some of the initial plans we had discussed, of ways to continue to support the reemergence of Two Spirits, and to lend Indigenous “wisdom science”, as you called it, to the healing of the planet in this time of great ecological and human rights crises.

I know that you now travel with the Ancestors – and I am honored to have gotten to walk with you on your journey a little those last few months of your life. Know that I will work to continue contributing your precious spirit and words – in the form of the two films and of sharing with people that of your spirit which touched me – to the ongoing struggle for the reemergence and healing of Two Spirits, of Native peoples in general, and of the world as a whole.

Walk in peace,
Lawrence Ellis

Unknown said...

Dear Paula, My comadre, running buddy, co-conspirator, it goes back to 1971 for us, in the UNM English dept office, you a graduate student who knew so muchmore than me, massively pregnant in a purple maternity dress, me pretty fresh out of Yale, a shaky new professor, with a toddler clinging to my thumb...I am going to try to write about this enduring and wonderful friendship we got to have, but it is going to take me awhile, girlfriend, sister, so many memories. I know in my mind but somehow not in my gut that I can't just pick up the phone and call you know, but I feel you very strongly. I know you are monitoring the election process! When the LA Times reporter called, I broke into tears and when she asked about your "significance" I just blurted out "She was the Bo Diddley of Native Studies!!" It.s true--and somehow fitting you guys who both knew and loved NM are probably in great touch right now...I keep wondering what adventures you are having. You have been one of the best and most enduring gifts of my life, dear sister.

Unknown said...


in your house
amongst the
pretty laced
china cup,
silk scarves
and books lining the shelves,
I take comfort
in you having
slept here,
thought new worlds
breathed fire here,
made your enemies
drink their own blood,
watched the sun rise,
the sound of water
slowly spreading
its fingers in loving
Your beautiful
linens, wallpapered
borders hand-drawn,
woven in color and content,
all in one.

I’m not long for
this world,
you said in
a dream
of another time,
space, life, lace,
feathered light and air,
yet there you sat, telling
me it was time.
Then you were gone.

Five hundred miles later,
through old haze,
children crying,
gnarled trunks
and congested airways,
I lay here, looking for you.
A last song of days
looms sweetly
amongst the tangled web
you so carefully spun from
your body,
fingers dancing, spinning,
until time stood still.
I lay here, dreaming your voice,
watching light and air
fall from spinarets and
thousand faceted eyes
of sky blown clouds.

Last night,
frogs sang, calling rain home.
The sky opened up,
dreaming the dark rimmed
edge of night along
a rain basted sky,
clouds seamless,
the only thing missing
was you.

© 2008 Carolyn Dunn

Anonymous said...

Long-Distance Gifts

For Paula Gunn Allen

Look into the palms of these hands
my hands were so young and inexperienced,
she took them gently, my teacher, my auntie
professor, my grandmother
the whole way from California
she took my hands into her hands
so she could look into the lines and
marks of my birth, my dreams, my
failures and joys. Into the depths of
what I brought with me through my
mother, what my ancestors, Natives
of the East and Jews from the Mediterranean
wrote on my hands, she read their messages.

All the way from California, Professor Auntie Paula
looked into my hands that she had taken
into her hands the month before, and declared
“Ah, you’re a traditional.”
“You better shake them up, girlfriend!”
“Jewish Indian women are dangerous, you know!”
Across the phone lines our voices travelled, from
sea to shining sea: half laughter and half Indian talk.
Across purple mountains’ majesty: Laughing and culture
women’s mixed blood laughter together with
women’s mixed blood culture together with
women’s mixed blood education together with
women’s love. Mother and daughter. Teacher and student.
Grandmother of Ancient Wit and Tricks, and Granddaughter
learning the Women’s Traditions written in eternity, caught among
college culture, blood politics, phone wires, and the last time we hugged.

Now I am standing under the white pine who has
cradled twenty-foot canes of pink rose blossoms
in my front yard. December’s tornado pushed over
every oak in its path, but she still rises. My hands
are turned to the sky. It is June and
I am weeping at the loss of my treasured teacher
covered in fallen petals and honeysuckle perfume
in the dark I pray for her.

On Friday, with my hands still open I light
Sabbath candles and set a place for Auntie Paula
at our dinner meal. In a vase there are peony blossoms.
To the empty chair, to her spirit,
I tell jokes, then sit on the porch with my drum and sing.

by Stephanie A. Sellers

Reprinted with permission
by Mary Churchill

Anonymous said...

It is with great sadness that I just learned of the passing of the beautiful author
and teacher Paula Gunn Allen. Allen was a HUGE influence on my continual interest
in Native American literature, indeed I quoted her in my own book as a major source.
Her books "The Sacred Hoop" and "That's What She Said" served as my "bibles" for
a long time. Sadly, I had already completed my American Indian Studies at UCLA by
the time she taught there. I would have loved to have taken her classes. She was also
a positive role model for all women. Even though I never knew her personally, I feel
I knew her through her writing, her voice. Thank you, Paula. She will be greatly missed,
and yet she lives on in her work and through us.

Nora Amrani

Anonymous said...

I meet Paula here in CT for a women’s gathering, some years back. I had the greatest honor in being her chauffeur along with Anne Waters and Ines Talamentez. I had the best time and am honored that these three outstanding women spent time in sharing their stories with me. I wanted to let the family know Paula touched so many people from coast to coast and our prayers are with you.
Kôkicásh (be well)
Sandi Pineault, Mohegan Tribe, 5 Crow Hill Uncasville CT 06382.

Da said...

I read, "The Sacred Hoop," at the emotional nadir of my life. Paula's words inspired a new understanding of this life..........
I have passed her wisdom to my daughters and sons, that they may pass it to theirs..........

Barbara Hammer said...

Paula Gunn Allen:

Poet, philosopher, thinker and good humorist and much more,
We will miss you.

Barbara Hammer

Anonymous said...

dwfhrfrIt has been a month to the day since she went the way of our ancestors.

All the words that she spoke,
like "hoka-hey" just before that day
gone up in smoke, literally...A stormy joke
one that pokes fun at us all...

We buried Shimanna
with Marlborough lite 100's in one hand
an Obama lighter in the other;
With some ashes of her oldest son at her feet.

Three weeks later
Thunder and Dry lightening,
like icing on the cake, surely not her final take...

Now all of California breathes in her laughter,
literally in the after math of
who will not be denied.

We get to inhale that Smokey veil that separates the scene from the un-seen.

All these tears about her that I've cried, ever since long before she died, are funny somehow as I shed more just now.

I miss you, I admire you, I cry for you, I laugh with you;
I read you, I write you,
I sing you, I love you;
I'll see you...

Ms. Moga 6-26-08

adrienne lauby said...

A short clip of my Dec. '07 interview with Paula will be aired this Friday on KPFA. She talks about living with a disability. Oh, to continue the conversation... to share some curriculum from disability studies scholars... to hear her laugh... It was a privilege to spend time with this rich and active spirit. (I wonder if this was her last interview.)

"Rants, Stories and Lies (2)"

Phyllis Deets, Davin Cardenas, Paula Gunn Allen, King Khazm, & Laurie Frank bring stories from the disability community to Pushing Limits on KPFA, 94.1fm on Friday, July 4, at 2:30 pm.

Phyllis Deets survives a brain bleed to return to life with an insurance company more interested in golden parachutes than her recovery. Davin Cardenas describes the disabilities faced by day laborers and what the Graton Day Labor Center is doing about it. Native American scholar and poet, Paula Gunn Allen talks about disability in one of the last interviews she gave before her death on May 29 of this year. Injured in a car accident at five, hip hop artist King Khazm describes growing up with the gangs and the special ed programs of Seattle. Laurie Frank, multiple chemical sensitivity activist dies, at age 67.

Hosted by Adrienne Lauby.

Archives of this program and other
previously-aired shows can be accessed at:

The web page for Pushing Limits is:

Podcast and Live Streaming available at

Contact us at:
(510) 848-6767 ext. 636 or

Pushing Limits is produced
collectively and open to new members.
Call (510) 848-6767 ext 636 or e-mail
to talk to us about it.

Mary Churchill said...

The San Francisco Bay Area Memorial for Paula Gunn Allen is scheduled for October 25, 2008. The location and time have yet to be determined. Please check the website for updates. Thanks, Mary Churchill

Kelly Morgan said...

I met Paula in 1984 at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. She was the keynote speaker during Women's History Week. I was so nervous to meet her and she became amused at my behavior and later gave me an unbound copy of The Sacred Hoop. I cherished that book and can honestly say that she truly influenced my life in numerous ways as I studied her life's work as a graduate student at UND and OU. I introduced her that night so long ago at UND and I will always have fond memories of her and how she treated me with respect. She encouraged me to continue my studies and I give credit to writer's such as her for helping me to better understand that "this is where I come from" and how my roots as a native woman, as a lesbian, as a multiracial woman are sacred. Thank you Paula. You saved my life, created hope where there was none when I read your poems and gave so many of us strength and resolve to research our histories and families not just in remembrance or survival but continuance as Geary and so many such as yourself taught so many of us so well. May your children and grandchildren look to your work and renew and bring back more of the old so that we might never forget where we came from.

Kelly Morgan

Unknown said...

I first met Paula in Alaska, where she came to lecture at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We continued to correspond and remained email friends. I last saw her in Santa Fe at the SEED Conference. She was always so full of life and positivity. I will miss her greatly.

Marilyn Jesmain, Taos, NM.

Anonymous said...

Years ago,at the end of Paula's poem "Grandmother" I found the name for my life's work:
"...After her I sit on my laddered rain-bearing rug/and mend the tear with string."

I am grateful for her life's work, and offer prayers to comfort all who loved her, and to carry her work on and on in the world.

tigercrush said...

I needed words of wisdom today. In searching for your words, I found you've left us as you were. I never met you but my heart is still heavy with the news. My gratitude for your teachings is so great and I believe they will be for a long time to come. Thank you for teaching so many that you never met.
--Cedar Sexton

Portia said...

She was a strong, passionate voice when she was here and she remains a strong, passionate voice still - only on a much grander scale. Can you imagine her now? Powerful words, wit and wisdom were only part of her tools when she was here. How much more so now that she has let loose her physical robes. Such a grand soul surely must continue with her teaching!

Still, we will miss her physical self. Her family even more so. My heart to your heart for your loss. May you feel Paula's love in the soft touch of a breeze, in a warm ray of sunshine, or the twinkling of the stars. She's laughing, loving and holding you even now.

Mary Churchill said...

Please see the Paula Gunn Allen Memorial page for updated information about the memorial service.

Mary Churchill

Anonymous said...

On behalf of the diverse Native American/First Nations Community members in Australia may we send our condolences to all Paula's family, extended family and friends. I personally met Paula many years ago through one of my relatives Kitty Rasmussen. On a visit to Australia Paula was an encouragement to many Indgenous people and I for one was later inspired to enrol in university as a very mature aged student completing two degrees including a Masters in Educational Studies in 2003. Pilamaya Paula .. Wakan Tanka nici un ..

Michael Red Shirt

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Paula, for helping me grow up. Your kindness, wisdom, and practical advice helped me find my path. Like so many others, I hold part of you within me. I am grateful beyond words.

Mary Churchill said...

Posted by Mary Churchill


Paula Gunn Allen: A Memorial Tribute
Saturday, October 25, 2008

American Indian Two-Spirit Scholar, Poet, Mother and Grandmother

City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Avenue

5 PM: Potluck Dinner, Film Showing (Visual Arts Bldg, Rm. 115)
6 PM: Book Sales, Reception
7-9 PM: Memorial Tribute (Diego Rivera Theater)

Hosted by Lauralee Brown, Daughter
Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Studies and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Studies Departments, CCSF

Trinity A. Ordona, Ph.D.
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Studies
Ocean Campus
50 Phelan Ave., Box EV 120
San Francisco, CA 94112
Voice Mail: 415.452.4895
Home: 415.626.6441

Anonymous said...

Dear Paula:

Though I've just learned of you directly; you have STRONGLY impacted me via our other Family members.

I was named after the Lebanese Poet/Artist, Kahlil Gibran - also a Maronite.

May your light eternally glow.



Anonymous said...

Hey, Paula,

It was privilege and honor that Lauralee invited me to sing with her and Greg Punkar at your Memorial this past Saturday. What a beautiful contribution all there who made it happen. Thanks to all of you for emulating Paula's Spirit in such a wonderful way. I knew Paula primarily as Lauralee's Mom.

I would like to share a quote from Albert Schweitzer in honor of Paula's Life:

"Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light."


Love, Nese

(Denise Leigh--Lauralee's friend and singing partner)

Mary E. Hunt said...

I am grateful for Paula Gunn Allen’s work on this planet. May her spirit continue to inspire us. Mary E. Hunt

Anonymous said...

I first met Paula Gunn Allen in the early 1980s when I was teaching at the UCLA American Indian Studies Center, and she was at Berkeley. Judy Grahn introduced us. I interviewed both of them for my book THE SPIRIT AND THE FLESH: SEXUAL DIVERSITY IN AMERICAN INDIAN CULTURE (Beacon Press), and Paula was a major source for a chapter of that book.

But beyond the information that Paula told me, what was even more important was her incredibly strong support. She encouraged me to publish my research even though the criticism at the time was severe. She was the person who convinced me to include a chapter on female Two-Spirit persons.

When my university tried to fire me from my job over that book, she was among a number of prominent scholars across the country who wrote to the Dean in protest. After the book won three book awards, the provost ordered tenure. Paula and I celebrated. She also wrote a heartfelt and trenchant analysis of the book in AMERICAN INDIAN QUARTERLY, which helped many native people to open their eyes and evaluate the issue of Two Spirit people without the prejudice that a century of Christian missionizing had laid over their eyes.

It was Paula who also helped to inspire me to write a novel, which I did (along with novelist Toby Johnson) and it was published as TWO SPIRITS: A STORY OF LIFE WITH THE NAVAJO (Lethe Press). As far as I know, it is the first novel with a Two Spirit person as the main character.

Most importantly, Paula's book THE SACRED HOOP was so influential to me and many other scholars, that it rightly qualifies as one of the formative books in American Indian Studies of the late 20th century.

As I look back on my life, I feel so blessed to have met and known so many giants and great pioneers in the LGBT community. Paula is one of those relationships that I most treasure in my memory. Not only for her many scholarly and intellectual contributions, not only for the beauty of her poetry, and not only for teaching me not to be fearful of spiders because Grandmother Spider Woman is truly our friend. What I will remember most is her kind and supportive manner, her deep regard for the truth, her strong commitment to justice, and her abiding friendship. I am honored to have known her. She walked in the Beauty Way, and she leaves a sparkling trail by which many can follow.

Walter L. Williams, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology, History, and Gender Studies
University of Southern California

Anonymous said...

I just read a work of Paula Gunn Allen in a compilation-book for a gender studies class in college. I was deeply moved by her writing and actually went online to try to find an address where I could reach her to write to her. I was saddened to hear of her death and wish that I could have recognized her insightful mind while she was alive. I do feel privileged to know her writing now and will continue to read and learn from her.

The Capturing Spirit Project said...

She will be forever motivational.

Jarvis Poncho said...

I am from the Laguna Pueblo and had heard of Paula a number of years back when I was a student in California. I am so honored that Paula was so widely respected and revered by her family, friends, former colleagues, students and people that didn't have the chance to know her, like myself. I am saddened to hear of her loss, which will almost be a year soon. Though I know she has returned back to her ancestors and remains a spirit that will continue to bless us with her presence each time a traditional ceremony takes place. Her life of literary works is beyond recognition and words. I wish to express my sincere condolences to the family and say shra-tza-neh-shroo and huutze-ze-meh ee goo-meh.

Anonymous said...

i am still amazed at the many ways SHE keeps showing up in my life. SHE will always be with me of course, being that she is my physical mother and all, however the intensity of her present-ness is asounding. Like the Thunder storm in June 2008, which was HER clear signal that it was time for me to go home and start pulling myself together after she died... A storm which set northern California in a haze of smoke for three weeks. SHE is sooo funny!!!The way SHE clearly communicates her self-ness to me, HER non local ever changing molucules are dancing and re-arranging and becoming....
Thanks Ma, for being!

Kelly Morgan said...

Wow! You sound so much like her. Your word structure so similar. It amazes me how we are our relatives. How they are ever present in our daily lives. That we have a direct connection to the other side. Some of us are more aware of it and at times it gets hightened. Thanks for your words.

Karyn Dickey said...

We still learn from Paula Gunn Allen through our ears, our eyes and our hearts. She will live on through us who keep her memory alive.

Mary Churchill said...

Paula, your birthday is nearly upon us. Let's all celebrate on October 24th and toast to all idiots, saintly and otherwise!

Shodo said...

Paula, I never met you but you changed my life, two spirit.

Anonymous said...

I knew Paula as Paula Francis Brown, and even before she was Brown, as an undergraduate at UNM circa 1962-65. Paula had the most infectious laugh, and a great sense of fun and of the absurd in life. We saw each other again after many years in 2007, at Lenore Wolfe's 90th birthday celebration. I still hear her laugh.
Lauralee, you can contact me at
Bruce Parker

Anonymous said...

Paula as New Moon

Every Now and Again
And later on
You are difficult to find
To hold, to define
You are still around, commanding, demanding attention
Elusive, intrusive…
How do you do that?
Once in a while
A constant momentary smile
Consistently here and gone
You are present and You move on
How do you do that?
Like a tune
A New Moon
Every Now And again

ms Moga 3-4-2011

Lindsay said...

It's now 2011 and I am for the first time learning about Paula Gunn Allen's work, as a part of my learning in a University Indigenous Feminism class. Her contributions to the field and her readers cannot be underestimated. As a queer feminist ally I am greatly indebted to her spirit.

"At the center of all is Woman, and no thing is sacred [...] without her blessing, her thinking" - The Sacred Hoop

Anonymous said...

Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Without Christ you are lost and destined for the lake of fire. Our Lord Jesus Christ loved you so much that he came down from heaven to earth to be the perfect sacrifice for your sins. By his death on the cross you now have the opportunity to be forgiven of your sins and receive eternal life. His precious blood will cover every sin and transgression you have ever committed. Salvation is so simple-just humble yourself and ask Jesus into your heart to be your Lord and Savior and you will be saved. This is the most important decision you will ever make. The Lord Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the only true and living God. You were created to be in fellowship with him. Don't be fooled by the world-we must repent in this life. Once we die we are doomed if we reject God's offer of salvation. The only real success in life is doing the will of God. You will never be complete until you are reconciled with him. Jesus stands at the door and knocks but only you can let him in!

Making Life Easier said...

As a budding writer, I was enamored with Paula's writing, she spoke to so many experiences. I felt she represented me in so many places. As a mixed breed/ambi-sexual /feminist woman. & mostly as a woman who was trying to find her voice as a writer, but not leave her Grandparents traditions behind

C.F. Black said...

I know it is a few years since this great cultural heroine passed onto another level, but I am continuously influenced by her work. There appears to be in this world so many opportunities to reference her work. I am actually this very moment trying to incorporate her work into policy on Australian Aboriginal healing. As a storywriter I follow her words and glean great encouragement and audacity to expect change rather than demand change. But rather just expect it with the surety of the rising and setting sun. Her words give me that confidence, as to the surprise of many, it happens. C.F. Black, Australia

C.F. Black said...

I know it is a few years since this great spirit passed onto another level, but I am continuously influenced by her work. There appears to be in this world so many opportunities to reference her work. I am actually this very moment trying to incorporate her work into policy on Australian Aboriginal healing. As a storywriter I follow her words and glean great encouragement and audacity to expect change rather than demand change. But rather just expect it with the surety of the rising and setting sun. Her words give me that confidence, as to the surprise of many, it happens. C.F.Black Australia

Anonymous said...

I knew Paula as a friend, mom, and same spirit. It is my honor to bring her final book of poems into my classroom this winter term. To keep the speaking alive, to share the truth, to open them up to think. I miss you, I am grateful for it all. JWC

Anonymous said...

I am currently taking a Women's Studies class at the University of Wyoming and we are reading one of her pieces. She sounded like a beautiful lady!

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Anonymous said...

While checking for new Native American Indian books (triggered by Smoke Signals being recently inducted into National Film Registry of Library of Congress) I clicked Wikipedia only to find one of authors who had an influence on my life had passed over 10 years ago. She will continue to influence my life as I now plan to read Pocahontas. To those who loved her I hope memories keep her spirit strong in your hearts. To those who learned from her I hope your spirits remain forever strong.

Matthew Silverstein said...

Dr. Paula Gunn Allen was incredibly generous with me, when I asked her to collaborate with me on a project breaking down the truth about "thanksgiving." This was back in 1992. She was the first person to spell it out for me, a white Jewish gay dude, that the old legend about Columbus was madness. She also really opened my eyes to the culturally denied decimation of indigenous people, history, and spirit. I had no idea then what a national treasure she was, and how fortunate I was to have gotten to spend time with her. Your spirit lives on, thank you for your blessings.

Matthew Silverstein, Los Angeles

Anonymous said...

I am re-reading the incredible Grandmothers of the Light, and today I looked up Paula Gunn Allen. I am sad to learn she has passed because our world needs women like her to guide and teach us. Her teachings in this book correspond to what my Guru says (my parents were both from India) about there being only consciousness in every single thing.

In this book, I find affirmation that myth and ritual serve to help us find our place in the world. I find affirmation of "other-worldly" beings, who my Guru has confirmed do exist.

May your spirit be at peace and immersed in Love. Thank you for your incredible contribution to womanity. And to literature.