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Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., is a poet, raised in a now nearly vanished oral and ethnic tradition. She grew up in a backwoods village, population 600, near the Great Lakes. Of Mexican mestiza and Magyar heritages, she comes from immigrant and refugee families who could not read or write, or who did so haltingly. Similar to William Carlos Williams and other poets who worked in the health professions, Estés is a certified psychoanalyst who has practiced clinically for 35 years. Her doctorate is in ethno-clinical psychology, the study of the psychology of groups. She often speaks as "distinguished visiting scholar" on university campuses. She is controversial for proposing that both assimilation and holding to ethnic traditions are the way to contribute to creative culture and to a soul-based civility. She is the author of many works on the life of the soul. Her work is published in 32 languages. A post-trauma specialist, she served Columbine High Schooland community after the massacre, 1999-2003. She works with 9-11 survivor families on both coasts. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Las Primeras Award, "the first of her kind" from the Mexican American Women's foundation, Washington D.C. She is a 2006 inductee to the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame.

Social JusticeEdit

Estés' Guadalupe Foundation currently funds literacy projects in Queens, NY, and in Madagascar -- providing printed local folktales and healthcare and hygiene information for the people in their own language; these texts are then used for learning to read and write. Estés also testifies to state and federal legislatures on welfare reform, education, child protection, mental health, the environment, immigration, and other quality of life and soul issues.


"All strong souls first go to hell before they do the healing of the world they came here for. If we are lucky, we return to help those still trapped below." from the poem Abre La Puerta in Theatre of the Imagination

"Do not lose heart, we were made for these times..." from Letter To A Young Activist During Troubled Times

"The craft of questions, the craft of stories, the craft of the hands - all these are the making of something, and that something is soul. Anytime we feed soul, it guarantees increase." from Women Who Run With the Wolves (p.14)

"Just because a woman is silent does not mean she agrees…" from The Dangerous Old Woman

"If logic were everything, all men would ride sidesaddle…" from Women Who Run With The Wolves

"Some people mistake being loving for being a sap. Quite the contrary, the most loving people are often the most fierce and the most acutely armed for battle... for they care about preserving and protecting poetry, symphonic song, ideas, the elements, creatures, inventions, hopes and dreams, dances and holiness... those goodly endeavors that cannot be allowed to perish from this earth, else humanity itself would perish..." from The Dangerous Old Woman

If you have never been called a defiant, incorrigible, impossible woman… have faith… there is yet time." from Woman Who Run with the Wolves

Notable BooksEdit

  • Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, (Ballantine 1992/ 1996)
  • The Gift of Story: A Wise Tale About What is Enough (Ballantine 1993)
  • The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About that Which Can Never Die (Harper 1996)
  • Tales of the Brothers' Grimm; 50 page introduction by Estés (BMOC/QPB special edition)
  • Hero With A Thousand Faces, Jos. Campbell. 50 page introduction by Estés (Princeton University Press, Joseph Campbell 100th anniversary edition 2004

Forthcoming BooksEdit

  • The Dangerous Old Woman; forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf 2006
  • La Pasionaria, A Manifesto on the Creative Fire: The Collected Poetry of Clarissa Pinkola Estés; forthcoming Alfred A. Knopf 2006
  • La curandera: Healing in Two Worlds; forthcoming, Texas A & M University Press, 2006

Audio WorksEdit

Her audio works on CDs are published by Sounds True and have been broadcast over numerous National Public Radio and community public radio stations in Canada and the USA

  • Warming the Stone Child: Myths & Stories About Abandonment and the Unmothered Child (Audio CDs - 1997)
  • Radiant Coat: Myths & Stories About the Crossing Between Life and Death (Audio CDs - May 1993)
  • The Creative Fire: Myths and Stories About the Cycles of Creativity (Audio CDs - July 1993)
  • In the House of the Riddle Mother: Common Archetypal Motifs in Women's Dreams (Audio CDs - March 1997)
  • Clarissa Pinkola Estés Live: Theatre of the Imagination (13 part live series, Audio CDs - October 1999)
  • How To Love A Woman: Myths and Stories about Erotic Lives of Women (Audio CDs 1996)
  • Bedtime Stories; For Crossing the Threshold Between Waking and Sleep (Audio CD 2002)
  • Beginner's Guide to Dream Analysis (Audio CD 2000)
  • The Gift of Story: A Wise Tale About What is Enough (Audio CD 1993)
  • The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About that Which Can Never Die (Audio CD 1996)
  • Theatre of the Imagination (Audio CD 1995) - Identical to Clarissa Pinkola Estés Live

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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