Born, raised and schooled in the best city in the world, New Yorker Kirpal Gordon owes a great deal to his hometown. Teachers early on gave him opportunities to use his talent in service to others. In the eighth grade, he wrote and directed the parish Christmas play featuring the class rock band and starring all fifty of his classmates. Getting his written words off the page and spoken aloud from a stage launched a lifelong series of collaborations with actors, poets, playwrights, dancers, visual artists, musicians and ex-offenders.
In high school he won creative writing awards and edited the school newspaper and literary magazine, but it was at the experimental wing of Fordham University at Lincoln Center that he found his niche as a learner-writer. Museums, mosques, temples, concerts, churches, performances, ashrams, poetry readings, zendos, East-West culture: the whole city became his classroom. While Indologist Frank Kenney taught him Sanskrit and Patanjali, Tao and Dharma and their philosophical-historical contexts, meditation study with Yogi Bhajan delivered the experiential side.
While working in a steel mill in the Sonoran desert, he created Frequency Media, a spoken word-dance improvisation group in Tempe which came to the attention of poet-in-residence Norman Dubie who invited him to attend Arizona State University's graduate writing program which culminated, after a summer apprenticeship with Allen Ginsberg at Naropa University, in an M.F.A. degree in creative writing at the University of Arizona. He returned to the Big Apple to study group dynamics with the Foundation for Feedback Learning and to teach college writing. Hired by the New York State Department of Corrections, he taught writing inside the walls for eight years and created the highly acclaimed EMPIRE, the first all prisoner-produced literary arts annual, and the Arthur Kill Alliance, a national award-winning, bi-monthly prison newsmagazine.
His prose poetry, fiction, journalism, alternate lyrics to the Great American Songbook and book/music reviews have been widely published. After long and fruitful associations with three independent presses---Heaven Bone, Leaping Dog and Obscure Publications---resulting in the publication of over twenty-five books, limited editions and CD, he saw the climate of the lit industry change so in 2011 he formed Giant Steps Press, a writer's cooperative, with a tech-savvy team capable of producing better looking books at a cheaper cost. Giant Steps runs a blog (giantstepspress.blogspot.com) where he interviews artists and activists. In addition, he is the bandleader for Speak-Spake-Spoke, a jazz-meets-spoken-word ensemble, which delivers performances of both his original lyrics and those of Walt Whitman to jazz classics via Convergence Arts, a non-profit foundation.
He has written plays, screenplays, film treatments and consulted on film scripts; served as music editor and fiction editor for literary journals; designed and edited company newsletters; and worked in-house and freelance as a proofreader, copy writer and editor at publishing firms. These skills have connected him to his other lifelong pursuit as a literary consultant and scribe to his tribe resulting in the publication of over thirty titles and three hundred articles that he's ghostwritten for entrepreneurs, educators, progressive thinkers and business mavens.
Having traveled widely and lived in all five boroughs of New York as well as in Arizona, California, the mid-Hudson Valley, the Texas Hill Country, New Orleans and Oaxaca, Mexico, he now resides in Flushing where he continues to write and teach, and in his spare time, landscape and garden. For a full account of his background, adventures, books and projects, click: (The Bee-Loud Glade)