My name is Richard Gwynallen and I live in Baltimore, Maryland with my wife, Maraji. Much of my life has been a ramble, and in that ramble I have been many things: social and political activist, poet, writer of essays, hiker, camper, spiritual seeker, husband, father, and more. I have made some major mistakes, and I have had the privilege of being in awe inspiring events and places. I believe that life should be an adventure – big and small adventures – and embraced with passion.
Since my youth three passions have remained consistent in my life: a love of nature, a desire for service and social change, and an attachment to my family heritage. These passions led me into an early and lifelong career in progressive political movements and social change, much time in outdoor pursuits, and a deep interest in history and cultural preservation.
I have put my life work into supporting movements that are building a more just and inclusive democratic society and an ecologically sustainable world. Over thirty years I have worked on wilderness protection, equitable urban development and community organizing, access to healthy food, social justice issues, and others.
My family background produced a passion for family heritage, folklore, storytelling, and the survival of minoritized cultures and languages, which became a vocation if not an occupation.
My Writing Story . . . in brief
Writing and storytelling have been part of my life since childhood. My early years were filled with stories of family, folktales from my family heritage, stories picked up in our travels as a military family, and historical accounts.
Then as a young adult traveling about I picked up the habit of writing about where I traveled and experiences I had. I didn’t have an artist’s ability to paint a scene of the city I was in or the view from a mountaintop so I wrote poems and journal entries.
That habit continued throughout my life, but I added to it a wide range of research and writing in my work life.
At present, I have several projects underway:
- Director of Special Projects at B’nai Israel Congregation in Baltimore City.
- Co-founder and co-director of Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir.
- A book, Consequences, which is memoir as metaphor.
- A collection of poems, Undercurrents.
- A bi-lingual children’s book, Tha Raghallach a’ Gabhail Cuairt anns an Coille/Riley Takes a Walk in the Woods, which is currently under consideration by a publisher.
If I can help you with a writing and research project, or hire me as storyteller, please contact me. Check My Services for more information on what I might be able to offer you, and My Writing & Past Projects for samples of my work.