Mythologist, author, storyteller, and musician Daniel Deardorff has lived a life-story with many twists and turns. Born Feb. 12, 1952, change came as an infant when he contracted polio. Unable to walk he’s used a wheelchair all his life, giving him a lived perspective that deeply informs his creative work. As a youngster he devoted his passion to art and music. At 22 he arrived in Los Angeles and became a full-time recording and concert artist, he toured as the opening act for Seals and Crofts performing in every state of the US as well as in Canada, and South and Central America. Many recall his appearances on national television, keynotes given at national and international conferences, and songs that hit the airwaves in the 70’s and 80’s. In the 90’s he worked as a music producer for such artists as Tingstad & Rumbel, Michael Tomlinson, and Richard Warner. He also produced six award winning children’s albums for such artists as Jim Valley and the group Tickle Tune Typhoon.

Change came again in 1995 when he was forced by post-polio (Polio Sequelae) to retire from full time work, “I needed a quieter life to preserve my health.” So began his scholarship in myth, writing essays and interviews which eventually led to the publication of his first book The Other Within: The Genius of Deformity in Myth, Culture, & Psyche. In 2003 his mentor, Robert Bly, invited him to present at The Great Mother Conference—“that was my graduation ceremony and oral defense combined,” says Deardorff. Since then he has continued to teach and collaborate with Bly. Combining his myth work with his music Deardorff has developed an approach he terms “Associative Mythology.” In this practice he has become a “Singer” in the old sense of that word, which involves being a musician, a storyteller, and a maker of ritual. As an independent scholar of myth Deardorff’s emphasis is on mythopoesis [myth-making] and the performative aspects of mythic expression. Currently he is the Founding Director of The Mythsinger Foundation, he teaches a year long course in the study and practice of myth and ritual called Living Myth, Living World. In the program called Fire on the Mountain Deardorff leads programs and rites of passage work for young men and women. Daniel Deardorff offers the fruits of his personal explorations and healing in his work—songs, poems, ritual, and creative music become tools for cultivating healing, authenticity, identity, and expression of depth and soul. Daniel Deardorff is the father of four daughters, he lives in Port Townsend sharing his creativity and depth through poetry, mythtelling, and song.

6 Replies to “Bio”

  1. Danny, I just had a conversation with Craig about a book that I sent out to him, Martin Shaw and Miguel, as well as copies to several of us in the Sufi Chanting group here in MN. The book – “World as Lover World as Self” by Joanna Macy is I think important containing ideas that are valuable to our men’s work.
    I’m wondering if you are aware of her work? If not, I would be happy to send you a copy.
    Craig mentioned Bill Plotkin who apparently you know, whose latest book I’m presently reading (also excellent stuff), as a potential teacher for MMC.
    Anyway I think the time is right to have a conference with a focus on the environment and the whole heart/soul connection with nature.
    Any friend of Wolverine is a friend of Mine! Duncan

  2. daniel,

    I was reading my Peninsula Daily News the other day and happened across an article about you. I thought, “wait a damn minute. I know that name. I’m sure when Velma and I were sitting in our Soap Lake house(early 70’s) having endless gab fests over a cup of coffee she told me about her friend Danny”.

    Yep, I was right, just got off the phone with her. Her and Bob are now in Spangle. I can tell you how to get in touch with them. I would love to “venture over” to Port Townsend sometime and meet you. Velma’s stories made me feel like I knew you, so was very excited to finally be able to put a face to the stories. Am sending her the article.

    Maggie Whallon

  3. Oh Dear Danny,
    Looking for an old video I just came upon the old original Spiritual Revolution tapes starring you and Marcia. It was just wonderful. I really miss Marcia and John Kavelin, but I see you are still here! Me too! I live in Burbank now with my wonderful husband Sam, of 30 years. My son, 29, just got married two weeks ago to a beautiful girl and my daughter is here in LA. We moved back here two years ago from southern Oregon to be near the kids. It seems you are doing beautifully! It’s so wonderful to feel your spirit through this page!

  4. I saw you in concert, at the Alladin, in Las Vegas in 76 or 77 as an opening act (I think to Seals and Crofts). the fact that I’m not sure who you opened for says a lot about the impact seeiing you had on me. I enjoyed your music but, even more, the message of your being on that stage in spite of your challenges. I am glad you chased your dreams. It makes me happy to see you’ve done so much with your life. Your girls are so lucky to have such a great dad as their role model.

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