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Adventures in Creativity

Sue Parman, Professor emeritus of anthropology and award-winning poet, playwright, writer, and artist.


Born in Connecticut, raised in Iowa (until 8) and New Mexico (until 16), went to Antioch College in Ohio, then Rice University in Texas, earned B.A. in Psychology and Ph.D. in Anthropology, lived in the village of Shawbost on the Island of Lewis in the Scottish Outer Hebrides for a year and a half and returns there frequently (or the island comes to her).


Author of six academic books, two books of poetry, a number of full-length, one-act, and ten-minute plays performed in both California and Oregon, as well as numerous essays and short stories.


Married to the anthropologist Jacob Pandian, one daughter (the writer Gigi Pandian).


Author of travel adventures, literary fiction, memoir, scientific essays, science fiction, mysteries, horror, speculative fiction published in The Antioch Review, Lumina, VoiceCatcher, Journeys, Slant, The Hiram Poetry Review, CDM (Crime, Detection, and Mystery, a Swedish publication), Bewildering Stories, and other journals and anthologies.


Has written about Europe, Scotland, Gaelic-speaking crofters, sleep and dreams, evolution of the brain, the biology and culture of salt, how a gorilla would interpret Beowulf, talking dogs, death rituals in Sulawesi, the titles of travel books, invisible rivers.


Have brain, will play.


London from a spider's point of view

Art is accident, angle, an inward
explosion like a lightbulb, a forward
impulse, a meeting
of your own mind, suddenly,
as if you'd met a stranger,
a body naked seen from behind—
a fresh view, a new knowing,
an idea on its way to becoming
itself, only more intensely,
more fraut with the inwardly.
Art is the making of a riddle from a solution,
like a ball turned constantly in the hand
as if each turn brought to view a new land, a key
to the cabinet of curiosity
in which reside the bits and pieces of the self--
those jeweled splinters encased in the pitch of a chaotic sea,
all shimmer and float.  Art coats
a bird with incandescent plumage,
digs gold in the cloister with koi, and even
in the shadowy soil of dishwater shows us Eden.