In the Beginning: An Egg, a Mask, a Woman (Paperback)
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In the Beginning: an Egg, a Mask, a Woman is a collection of poetry by Susan J. Rogers. The three sections of the book, "Tara Poems," "Songs of Ama-terasu," and "Ways of God/dess," all begin with illustrations by Luisa-Maria Potter. Many of these poems retell mythic stories from cultures around the world. Others are rewritten versions of personal history that include the goddess as protector. Goddesses include the ancient European Bird Woman, Tara, Ama-terasu, Uzume, and Cardea. Several of these poems have been published in Blue Hole: A Magazine of the Georgetown Poetry Festival, The Enigmatist and other publications. In addition, some were featured on the Texas Nafas show on the public cable television station in Austin, Texas where the author was interviewed about her poetry. Some of these poems first appeared as lyrics to songs composed by the author and have been previously recorded.
About the Author
Susan J. Rogers was born in the Midwest. She currently lives with her partner, Luisa-Maria Potter, in Georgetown, Texas. She reimagines personal and mythic history by drawing on a wide range of cultures, including Roman, Tibetan, Japanese, and Biblical. Her series of Tara Poems honors the Indian and Tibetan goddess of wisdom and compassion. These poems combine the 21 qualities of Tara with her appearance in the present day as our protector. Her poem "Spiral Time" honors the original version of the Roman goddess Cardea, who rules over the celestial hinge at the center of the universe, around which everything revolves. As the status of women declined in late Roman and early Christian cultures, her characteristics were taken over by the male god Janus. Eventually, she was given only one task: to keep witches away from the nursery door. "Spiral Time" is the lyrics to the author's choral piece by the same name. The original version was recorded on Artemis Singers: 25 Years: Chicago's Lesbian Feminist Chorus in 2005. The SATB version was performed at Chicago State University in 2002 and recorded at Space D, Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2003. Her Songs of Ama-terasu are lyrics from the author's song cycle Ama-terasu: Song of the Sun (for soprano and piano) which was first performed at the University of New Mexico. Ama-terasu is the traditional Shinto sun goddess of Japan. One of the songs also features an appearance by Uzume, the Mirth Goddess. These songs tell the traditional story of how winter came into the world. The author believes that when we retell ancient stories, it helps us remember our collective wisdom. She also believes that rewriting the past to include a goddess, who reminds us of the rare and precious gift of the human spirit, can help us reshape the future.