Goddess movement pioneer, author, teacher, poet
Patricia Monaghan’s first book, The Book of Goddesses and Heroines, was published in 1980 by E.P. Dutton and was one of the first of what would be a flood of works on feminine divinity and women’s spirituality. The book has been published in two later expanded editions; Patricia is currently working on a new, greatly expanded and footnoted edition that she hopes will be the last and definitive one. The book is notable for being cross-cultural, including tens of thousands of divinities from all continents. The new edition is divided by culture and includes significant new material.
Raised in Alaska, where much of her family still lives, Patricia considers herself blessed to have learned the ecology of the taiga, the subarctic forest, in her youth. She was a writer and reporter on science and energy-related issues before turning her attention to the impact of myth on our daily lives.
The worldwide vision of the earth as feminine–as a goddess, called Gaia by the Greeks–led her to recognize the connection between ecological damage and the oppression of the feminine. Much of her work since that time has explored the role of feminine power in our world, in an inclusive and multicultural way.
Patricia’s other published nonfiction includes The Encyclopedia of Celtic Myth and Folklore (Facts on File), The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit (New World Library), Meditation: The Complete Guide (New World Library), Wild Girls: The Path of the Young Goddess (Creatrix Books), and The Goddess Companion (Llewellyn Worldwide).
In addition to scholarship and nonfiction writing, Patricia is an award-winning poet whose work has been set to music and is performed around the world, most recently by folk composer Michael Smith, whose setting of Patricia’s “Songs of a Kerry Madwoman” will be released shortly with vocals by Jamie O’Reilly. Patricia’s most recent books of poetry are Homefront (Word Tech Press), a sequence of poems about the effect of war on families; an expanded edition of the award-winning Seasons of the Witch with double CD of music; and Dancing with Chaos (Salmon Poetry), which explores scientific theories of chaos in personal terms.
Patricia is an acclaimed lecturer who has appeared at hundreds of universities, festivals, bookstores and community centers around the United States and Europe. An avid traveler, Patricia has researched earth spirituality and goddess worship on three continents. She has traveled widely in Europe, especially in Ireland; she holds dual US/Irish citizenship and has edited two anthologies of contemporary Irish-American writing.
Patricia holds a PhD in literature and environment from the Union Institute and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alaska. In her position as a member of the interdisciplinary faculty at DePaul University, Patricia teaches classes in mythology, environmental studies, and arts. She is a Senior Fellow of the Black Earth Institute, dedicated to connecting arts, spirituality, environment and politics. She lives bilocally, in Chicago and in Wisconsin, where she and her partner Michael McDermott tend a vineyard and large organic garden.