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Bio & CV

Eden Orlando - Poet, Artist, Bookmaker

Eden Orlando has been making books, writing poetry, and creating art for over twenty years.  Born into a family of writers and artists, she spent her childhood in Venice Beach, California, surrounded by the arts influences of greater Los Angeles and her mother painting on large canvasses in the kitchen after work.  She attended a private liberal arts high school where she started writing poetry, was an editor for her school's literary arts journal, and developed a passion for activism.  She published her first book of poetry, Progressions of a Once Suicidal Poet (2007), when she was eighteen.  She was also eighteen when she first wrote love poems to singer-songwriter, MarioG, who then first turned her poems into songs.  These songs would later appear on his album, Eternal Hills (2013). 


Eden attended college at the University of California, Santa Cruz where she studied poetry from Poet Laureate, Gary Young, and received a B.A. in Community Studies, a social justice major, with an emphasis on homelessness studies. She self-published three poetry books during this period, A Body in Green (2009), Bodies of Water (2011), and Dreams (2011), poetry about surviving childhood trauma and coming of age into adulthood.  She won third place in the UC-wide Ina Coolbrith Poetry Competition for her poem, "Parrots." 

Photo credit: Eden Orlando

After college, Eden lived and worked at The Ojai Foundation, a spiritual retreat center in Ojai, California for a two-week work retreat that turned into an eight month stay from 2011-2012.  While tending to the land and living in a tent on the mountain, she attended numerous workshops on the healing arts, including sweat lodge ceremonies and a vision quest, and met a mentor who helped her to integrate these experiences.  Through land work and various techniques to stay present and notice her thoughts, she moved from her head into her body in a profound shift that lifted fifteen years of depression.  She documented these epiphanies through poetry as part of her process.  She wrote The Ojai Poems: Journey of a Spiritual Nomad, a nine-part chapbook series that encompassed her return to Los Angeles and her struggle to integrate this experience with her life in the city.  

In 2013 she moved to the island of Kauai after following her visions of seeing the island.  She lived for a year and half on an organic farm, first in a tent, then a shipping container, cabin, and then back into a tent.  Kauai, described by the Dalai Lama as "the place where our souls enter the Earth," opened her spiritually, allowed her to find happiness within herself, and it was here that she decided that she wanted to be an artist.  She began making collages at the coffee shop where she worked, with her poetry and art attempting to reflect those experiences and visions.  She started a jewelry business, Dream By Eden, and sold jewerly in three stores on the island.  She continued creating collages and writing poetry about Kauai after she returned to Venice Beach.  It wouldn't be for another six years that she would finally publish Seed Pearls: Kauai Poems (2020).  The book is available for preview and purchase on blurb.com.  

Eden moved to Ashland, Oregon by first living on an organic farm in a tent again before finding a job as a cashier and moving into a one-room cabin in the woods.  For the next five years, she continued to write to process various traumas, such as estrangement from family, sexuality, pregnancy, abortion, mental health, racism, homelessness, domestic violence, the pandemic, and the Almeda fire of September 2020.  Using flower medicine as a theme and a metaphor for self-love, romantic love, and the divine, she published My Perfect Offering: A Novel in Poems (2021), complete with acrylic paintings, spiritual collages, and painted dresses.  The book is available for preview and purchase on blurb.com.

The Almeda fire of 2020 particularly influenced her, and she pulled from her years as a literary arts journal editor to create an anthology of writers and artists who had experienced this traumatic event as a tool for collective community healing and to bring more arts to the valley.  Twenty-three writers and artists contributed their work to The Rogue Valley Oregon Wildfires Anthology (2021), a 108-page book.  Eden purchased and gave away the anthology for free to members of the community at a publishing event at Lithia Park, one year after the fire.  Contributors and community members alike gathered to share their work and experiences, grieve and celebrate each other.  The book is available for a full preview and purchase for the cost to print online at blurb.com.

One of the artists published in Oregon Wildfires Anthology, Rebeca Ramm, also a beekeeper and pollinator advocate, suggested that the next anthology be on pollinators.  After Eden wanted the anthology to benefit a local nonprofit in the area, Rebeca suggested Pollinator Project Rogue Valley (PPRV). The Rogue Valley Pollinator Anthology (2022), the second anthology in the series, edited by Eden Orlando, Rebeca Ramm, and Kristina Lefever (volunteer President of PPRV), features the work of 65 contributing writers, artists, and activists on the subject of local, native pollinators.  This 316-page book focuses on native butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, hummingbirds, bees, the European honey bee, ecology, activism, and children's activities.  Editors and contributors alike participated in a two-month gallery show at Catalyst Ashland from May through June 2022 and were interviewed by Ashland News and KTVL/News-10.  Editors were interviewed on the radio with Jefferson Public Radio (JPR).  Editor Eden Orlando was featured in SOPBS's "The Work of Art" by Vanessa Finney in September 2022.  Proceeds from the sale of the anthology benefit Pollinator Project Rogue Valley.  You may purchase the anthology by visiting PPRV's website, going in-store to their Phoenix, OR location, at Catalyst Ashland in Ashland, OR, or at Old World Artifacts in Ashland, OR.

In 2022, Eden had six videos of her poetry and six fine art images accepted into SOU's "Bodylogues" private virtual exhibit on the subject of gender and sexuality.   Her illustrated poetry book, My Perfect Offering: A Novel in Poems (2021), was accepted into the SOU's 2022 Fringe Festival.  Ten paintings, including two painted dresses, and ten poems, from her book were displayed in a gallery show at the Marion Addy Building during the festival and online.  She also participated in a reading of her work and Q & A session after.  In 2022 she also began collaborating with multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, Casey G.  They first performed four songs at The Gathering of Goodness in Medford, OR in June 2022.  In August 2022, The Speak Easy Presents by Blaine Lindsey featured their sixteen song show, "Mermaid From the Sea," at The Shrine in Ashland, OR.  Eden continues to paint on dresses, make up songs, bind books, garden, and go to therapy. :)

To see more art, follow her 

IG: @eden.orlando.art

or email her at: 

paradisecommunityarts@gmail.com

Education 

2007-2011

University of California, Santa Cruz

B.A. in Community Studies

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2003 - 2007

Crossroads School for the Arts & Sciences

Santa Monica, CA

Awards 

2009

"Parrots"

Winner, 3rd Place, UC-wide Ina Coolbrith Poetry Competition

2011

Paying Our Rent on the Earth: Shelter as a Commodity and Why We Need a Sustainable Housing Movement in Venice Beach, California

Honors, Community Studies Dept. Senior Thesis

Media

2022

Interviewed as Editor for The Rogue Valley Pollinator Anthology for Ashland.News, "‘Pollinator Anthology’ book and art show seek to create buzz, make people be more aware of pollinators’ critical role" by Art Van Kraft

https://ashland.news/pollinator-anthology-book-and-art-show-seek-to-create-buzz-make-people-be-more-aware-of-pollinators-critical-role/

2022

2022

2022

Interviewed as Editor for The Rogue Valley Pollinator Anthology by Jefferson Public Radio, "Artists in the Rogue Valley are releasing a new book featuring artwork about bees and other pollinators." by Roman Battaglia

https://www.ijpr.org/music-arts-and-culture/2022-06-03/pollinator-anthology-highlights-rogue-valley-artists

Interviewed as Editor for The Rogue Valley Pollinator Anthology by KTVL/ News 10, "Artists come together for Rogue Valley Pollinator Anthology book, gallery show" by Ambar Rodriguez.

https://www.ijpr.org/music-arts-and-culture/2022-06-03/pollinator-anthology-highlights-rogue-valley-artists

Featured artist and editor of The Rogue Valley Anthology Series for Southern Oregon PBS series, "The Work of Art," by Vanessa Finney.

Exhibitions 

Solo

2016

"Seed Pearls: Kauai Poems"

Selected collages & poems on my life on Kauai

Featured Artist, The Venice Art Walk

The Moving Joint, Venice Beach, CA

2022

"My Perfect Offering: A Novel in Poems"

Gallery show of ten selected poems & paintings, & poetry reading

Featured Artist, Oregon Fringe Festival

Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR

Group

2018

"Because He Was 'Driving Black:' An Effect of Police Brutality on an Intimate Partnership"

Short skit featured in the show, "Heartbeats of Truth," directed by J'aime Powell

The Grange, Ashland, OR

2022

"Bodylogues"

Five fine art images & five poetry videos

Featured Artist from the community in the virtual show for SOU's Gender & Sexuality class

Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR

2022

"The Rogue Valley Pollinator Anthology"

Featuring two painted dresses & talks by the artist & creator of The Rogue Valley Anthology series

Artist & Gallery Show Co-Coordinator

Presenting the work of artists published in The Rogue Valley Pollinator Anthology

May - June, Catalyst Ashland, Ashland, OR

Publications

2006-2007

Dark as Day: Creative Writing & Arts Journal

Co-Editor-in-Chief/Poetry Editor

Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences, Santa Monica, CA

Gold Medal Award, 2007

2007

Progressions

Author, Venice Beach, CA

Hand-bound, self-published, limited edition, one copy.

2009

A Body in Green

Author, Santa Cruz, CA

Hand-bound, self-published, limited edition, one copy.

2011

Dreams

Author, Santa Cruz, CA

Hand-bound, self-published, limited edition, 10 copies.

2011

Bodies of Water

Author, Santa Cruz, CA

Hand-bound, self-published, limited edition, 40 copies.

2011-2017

The Ojai Poems: Journey of a Spiritual Nomad

Author, Ashland, OR

Hand-bound, self-published, limited edition, one copy each.

2015

2017

2018

2017

2017

2017

2018

2017

2017

BOOK I: The Ojai Poems

BOOK II: Noble Silence

BOOK III: First Winter Outside

BOOK IV: Rainbow Goddesses

BOOK V: Gaviota, California

BOOK VI: The Growing Home

BOOK VII: The Typewriter Poems

BOOK VIII: The Target Poems

BOOK IX: September Nest

2016

The Kitchen Poems

Author, Ashland, OR

Hand-bound, self-published, limited edition, one copy.

2016

Fourth of July

Author, Ashland, OR

Hand-bound, self-published, limited edition, one copy.

2020

Seed Pearls: Kauai Poems

Author, Ashland, OR

Self-published. Hardcopy & preview available on blurb.com

2021

My Perfect Offering: A Novel in Poems

Author, Ashland, OR

Self-published. Hardcopy & preview available on blurb.com

2021

The Rogue Valley Oregon Wildfires Anthology

Editor & series creator, Medford, OR

Self-published. Hardcopy (at the cost to print) & full-page preview available on blurb.com

2022

The Rogue Valley Pollinator Anthology

Editor & series creator, Phoenix, OR

Self-published. Hardcopy available at various locations in southern Oregon.

2023

The Ojai Poems: Best Poems

Author, Medford, OR

Self-published.  Available soon on blurb.com. 

Music

2007           Wax Wings

                     Lyrics by Eden Orlando.

                     Music & vocals by MarioG.

                     Eternal Hills (2012) album by MarioG, available on Bandcamp

2007           Love Letter to No One

                     Lyrics by Eden Orlando.

                     Chorus, music & vocals by MarioG.

                     Eternal Hills (2012) album by MarioG, available on Bandcamp

2013           Put My Hands in the Soil

                     Lyrics by Eden Orlando.

                     Music & vocals by MarioG.

                     Eternal Hills (2012) album by MarioG, available on Bandcamp

2013           Palate of Tongues

                     Lyrics by Eden Orlando.

                     Music & vocals by MarioG.

                     Eternal Hills (2012) album by MarioG, available on Bandcamp

2013           Hot Springs

                     Lyrics by Eden Orlando.

                     Music & vocals by MarioG.

                     Available on Soundcloud

2017           Rose Shampoo

                     Lyrics, vocals, & ukulele by Eden Orlando.

2017           Mermaid from the Sea

                     Lyrics, melody, vocals & recording by Eden Orlando.

                     Melody, ukulele, & vocals by Nei LaFleur.

                     Vocals by Namid Wolf. 

                     Available on Soundcloud.com

2022           Rose Shampoo

                     Lyrics, vocals, spoken word, melody & ukulele chords by Eden Orlando.

                     Ukulele & shakers by Casey G. 

                     Mixed & recorded by Namid Wolf @ tiny choir productions.

2022           Mermaid from the Sea

                     Lyrics, melody, & vocals by Eden Orlando.

                     Melody & ukulele chords by Nei LaFleur.

                     Vocals & ukulele played by Casey G.

                     Vocals, mixed & recorded by Namid Wolf @ tiny choir productions.

2022           The Aphrodite

                     Lyrics & melody by Eden Orlando. 

                     Melody, vocals, & harp by Casey G.

                     Mixed & recorded by Namid Wolf @ tiny choir productions.

2022         Darling 

                     Lyrics, melody, back up vocals, & rain stick by Eden Orlando. 

                     Melody, lead vocals, ukulele, & violin by Casey G.

                     Shakers, mixed & recorded by Namid Wolf @ tiny choir productions.

2022         Venus Retrograde

                     Lyrics, melody, & Lake Tahoe sounds by Eden Orlando. 

                     Melody, vocals, & harp by Casey G.

                     Mixed & recorded by Namid Wolf @ tiny choir productions.

2022         The Rose

                     Lyrics & melody by Eden Orlando. 

                     Melody, vocals, & harp by Casey G.

                     Mixed & recorded by Namid Wolf @ tiny choir productions.

2022           Drink Water

                     Spoken word by Eden Orlando. 

                     Harp by Casey G.

                     Mixed & recorded by Namid Wolf @ tiny choir productions.

2022           Kauai Call

                     Lyrics & melody by Eden Orlando. 

                     Melody, vocals, & harp by Casey G.

                     Mixed & recorded by Namid Wolf @ tiny choir productions.

2022            Small Voice

                      Lyrics & melody by Eden Orlando. 

                      Melody, vocals, & kalimba by Casey G.

                      Mixed & recorded by Namid Wolf @ tiny choir productions.

2022            Vulture Medicine

                      Spoken word & Lithia river sounds by Eden Orlando. 

                      Violin by Casey G.  

                      Mixed & recorded by Namid Wolf @ tiny choir productions.

Workshops

2009        “Multicultural Community Weekend”

                    Co-facilitator, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

                    Designed and presented interactive material on privilege, ally-ship, diversity,

                    assumptions, etc. for college students who elected the two-day retreat course. 

2010        “Compassionate Communication”

                    Co-facilitator/Intern, Westlake Elementary School, Santa Cruz, CA

                    Partnered with the teacher to facilitate Non-Violent Communication curriculum to

                    second grade class for three months to de-escalate bullying situations utilizing

                    learned and practiced empathy communication skills.

2013       “Poetry Manuscript & Book Arts Workshop”

                    Co-facilitator with Mario G, Various cafes in West Hollywood, CA

                    Facilitated weekly open community poetry editing, manuscript, and book arts

                    workshop for one month.

2013        “Book Arts Design & Production”

                    Co-facilitator with Mario G & Susan Turner Jones

                    Sierra Canyon High School, Venice, CA

                    Students created a literary arts anthology pairing writing and art pieces, choosing

                    fonts/ themes, proofreading, creating a simple mock-up in Word, and hand-binding

                    their books. Five-day production workshop.

2014        “Free Community Poetry Workshop”

                    Workshop Facilitator, Small Town Coffee Co., Kapa’a, HI 

                    Facilitated weekly open community poetry writing workshop with prompts.                                      Participants wrote poems, shared their work, and were given feedback for three

                    months.

2014         “Organic Farm Tour Field Trip” 

                     Coordinator/Co-host with Sol Kahn, Rising Sun Organic Farms, Anahola, HI

                     Delighted kindergarteners planted starts; picked and cleaned veggies; walked

                     through an orchard planted with tropical fruit trees; and ate dishes made from the

                     farm’s produce. 

2015          “Wire-wrapping, Crimping, and Leather-Working Class” 

                      Co-instructor, Bead Source, Los Angeles, CA

                      Students completed one finished bracelet using all three techniques in this 2-hour

                      class.

2016          “Goddess Circle”

                      Co-Facilitator, Ashland, OR

                      Utilized talking piece, oracle cards, and sacred ceremonies; women came together

                      monthly to my home for four months.

2017          “Divine Flower Messages” 

                      Designer and Facilitator, The Goddess Temple at The Wellsprings, Ashland, OR 

                      Gave participants knowledge of flower medicine, balanced with reflection and

                      opportunities for expression through poetry and art.

 

2017          “Poetry Writing & Manuscript Workshop”

                      Designer and Facilitator, Facebook group, Ashland, OR 

                      Guided poetry writing with prompts of well-known poets’ writings, taught feedback

                      techniques, and gave clear feedback to each participant. Weekly nine month

                      course.


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