About Deena Metzger

Deena Metzger is a poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, storyteller and healer. Story is her Medicine.

Her latest novels are A Rain of Night Birds, Feral and La Negra y Blanca, . La Negra y Blanca won the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature.  A Rain of Night Birds is concerned with Climate Collapse.  The novel reveals the relationship between the colonizing mind that enacted genocide on the Indigenous people of the Americas and the consequent ecocide we are witnessing.  In 2019, she published the seminal essay, Meeting Extinction: Grave Affliction or Possibility.  She is devoted to creating sanctuary for the natural world and a future for all beings.

The novels The Other Hand and Doors: A Fiction for Jazz Horn, and her new and selected poems, Ruin and Beauty are published by Red Hen Press.

Other books include Skin: Shadows/Silence A Love Letter in the Form of a Novel, What Dinah Thought and The Woman Who Slept With Men to Take the War Out of Them that is in the volume Tree: Essays and Pieces, that features the celebrated Warrior Poster on its cover.  Tree testifies to a woman’s triumph over breast cancer. It is an example of her many formal and spiritual explorations imagining a literature responsive to the complexities and necessities of our time, especially the value of actively respecting the numerous voices that constitute an ecology of mind attuned to a sacred universe.

Writing For Your Life: A Guide and Companion to the Inner Worlds is a text that articulates these possibilities for fellow writers and as do her plays Not As Sleepwalkers and Dreams Against the State.   She co-edited an anthology, Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals, one of the first testimonies to the reality and nature of animal intelligence.  Entering the Ghost River: Meditations on the Theory and Practice of Healing and From Grief into Vision: A Council examine the tragic failure of contemporary culture and provide guidance for personal, political, environmental and spiritual healing.

A radical thinker on behalf of the natural world and planetary survival, a teacher of writing and healing practices for almost 50 years, a writer and activist profoundly concerned with peacemaking, restoration and sanctuary for a beleagured world, she is basing her work now on the ideas outlined in the posting, “19 Ways to the 5th World.” She also teaches a program, A Training for the 5th World. With  writer, Michael Ortiz Hill,she  introduced Daré to North America  in 1999.  Daré is a unique form of individual and community healing based on indigenous medicine traditions and contemporary  wisdom.

Deena convenes ReVisioning Medicine, collaboration in diagnosis and treatment between medical people and medicine people, physicians and healers to create a medicine which does no harm.   She is also Senior Advisor to the NGO, Everyday Gandhis that supports grassroots and indigenous peacebuilding activities in Liberia and West Africa.

As a spiritual practitioner, Deena is devoted to the Pathless Path and the No Enemy Way.

13 responses to “About Deena Metzger

  1. D.F. Wild August 4, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Looks fabulous…

  2. Shawna Carol September 13, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Dearest Deena,
    Thank you for your love – it heals
    For my part I serve the renewal by creating the reality of the New Story – Goddess, Mothering as highest value – in song – and writing in the book of my body – how one heals from the poison of a world of dominator culture – in my case leaded gasoline in my bones.

    Please don’t stop asking the questions that point us toward grace.

  3. patti September 15, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Deena, I bow to you –you and your inner Ambassador–your naming the many horrors of this world and continuing to name them–saying them out loud– and at the same time, sitting in prayer and having a rainbow cover you and Michael with its radiance. I read all that you named–all the transgressions and thought about Kol Nidre and the beating of ones breast. I read each act of abuse and/or neglect and slowly took a deep breath, as if my breath were a prayer–to ask forgiveness for what we have done to harm mother earth and its inhabitants–

  4. John D Brown November 12, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Thank you Deena. The No Enemy way leaves no need for defense. Defense is the first act of war, for it is not the person who strikes the first blow who starts the fight, but the person who strikes back.
    You speak as the Course in Miracles suggests: Every thought, word, deed is either an expression of love, or a call for love. You think, speak and act in this world – a beautiful shower of a different way.

  5. Jim Prues August 18, 2011 at 9:59 am


    Your ‘Fifth World’ sound suspiciously like my “World 5.0,” we better talk to somebody to figure out what’s going on! 🙂

    ACIM is one of my faves, too. You can learn more about World5 at the site…

    Who knew?

    peace and love,

  6. Deena Metzger August 18, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Dear Jim: This came in as I am leaving for Canyon de Chelly – sacred land.. So I can’t read your website now. But – What is going on? Well, i think Spirit is speaking to those who will listen. Whatever transformation will occur is because we will do it differently and together. It sounds like you and I are sitting in a Council. This should be explored. I have a vision of interlocking councils – more to be said another time. I don’t know what ACIM is. Please explain. I probably cannot get into a dialogue with you until October. I am going because I hope to meet the Elephant Ambassador again – see blog posts below. He has come to me three times in three separate years. He is of the wild. I will follow up – or please remind me – in October. Blessings.

  7. theyoungjamesversion July 28, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Your quote in “Into the Heart of the Feminine” [Medusa], (Harris 135), brought me to your blog.

  8. theyoungjamesversion July 28, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Your quote in “Into the Heart of the Feminine” [Medusa], (Harris 135), brought me to your blog. That’s all it took for me! Thanx 😎

  9. Deena Metzger July 28, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    i don’t know what quote you are referring to but I am glad it brought you here. i hope this blog feeds your heart and soul.I haven’t posted anything in a long time — though there is much to read until I do again. Blessings, deena

  10. theyoungjamesversion July 28, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    The quote was in the book by Massimilla Harris and her husband, “Into the Heart of the Feminine,” about Medusa. Your quote was on page 135 concerning the paradoical nature of creatvity: loneliness to the “outside” but finding company with onself!

    Covered a lot of experiential ground in a short space!😎

  11. Deena Metzger July 28, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    I don’t know the book or the quote. But glad you found it. Blessings, Deena

  12. hconeil1957 March 16, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    This one was just wondering.. How are you? You did “pinch my heart”, not long ago. You commented on a post of mine, and left a link to an essay you related to it… And that act has had some impacts.. Positive impacts.

    I feel soo much just now… A small ocean of gratitude… and more. Most people are very hard for me to “see as real”, to feel anything about. I felt your words, and your caring. That “thread” of connection so rare. This one is not a “nice person”. Selfish and self centered by nature, and as “Obsessive/Compulsive” as can be, its kind of hardwired into this neurally divergent brain of mine. To be “on the Autistic spectrum” is to have a different “operating system” mentally, than the majority of human beings.

    But your words, that sharing of your “true self” with me? You made yourself real for me… I wish I could read more of you, and whats up wit’chou’ in this “Here and now”. ???

    I submitted a short story for publication today, and am feeling very satisfied, even happy.. Content for a while. Wrote the story shortly after I’d started to follow you and had read a lot of your “old stuff”.. Know “FOR A FACT” that it was reading your words, and some of the links that you shared, that gave me the mental “Good swift Kick” and got me to taking some action I’d been avoiding.

    I found a new hope in your words, and that was a “key”… That hope helped me walk through the fears that had me blocked… Been a lot of changing since first I read your particular comment to me…

    You should know that one is so very grateful that you are just who you are, and do what you do.

    Hoping that everything in life is “going your way”, dear Deena…

  13. Deena Metzger March 19, 2019 at 12:04 am

    Re: “To be “on the Autistic spectrum” is to have a different “operating system” mentally, than the majority of human beings.” You know that Greta Thunberg says she is on the spectrum. She says she is wired differently from most folks. She says, she does not see the gray areas,
    “normal” people see. She says, for her it is black or white. If Fossil Fuels are killing the planet then it is simple. Stop using them. She just organized over a million young people to strike regarding Climate Collapse. She was just nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was so upset when she learned about Climate Change, she didn’t speak for three years. Upset? Angry? At odds with all? We are each who we are, we are each entirely strange. We don’t know where our gifts will take us. Glad you are writing … Some of us know we have an obligation to all life, to a future, to the planet flourishing, to end Extinction. How do we live that? That the inner question that keeps me going. Bless you, Deena

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