Oriah Mountain Dreamer is a writer and prose-poet who wrote many poems. She grew up in Northern Ontario in a Christian household and her family supported her exploration of the world through their religion. This early dedication mixed with her own passion for the natural environment around her home.
Education and Career
Mountain Dreamer attended Ryerson University in Toronto and graduated from their social work program. She also studied in the University of Toronto’s philosophy program. Mountain Dreamer now holds classes for various groups, as well as retreats focused on writing and the practices of First Nations people. In this capacity, she appeared on a number of television networks. These include the Oprah, NPR, and PBS.
Illness and Name Change
In 1984, when she was thirty years old, she was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome or ME/CFS. The illness had a great impact on her life as she has to deal consistently with the new limitations on her activity. In the midst of her illness, a dream inspired her to change her name to Oriah, meaning “light of God.” Her last name originated from the name of a medicine given to her by one of her teachers. It means “on who likes to find and push the edge.”
Dreamer’s most popular book, The Invitation, was published around 1994 and has since been translated into fifteen languages. It explores what the speaker is looking for in the listener as a prospective lover. The speaker goes through the various aspects of the listener’s personality that they are and are not interested in. By the end of the poem, it is clear the speaker cares deeply for the strength of the listener’s soul over trivial aspects of their life such as wealth. Other works by Mountain Dreamer include The Dance and The Call: Discovering Why You Are Here. Her most recent book is, What We Ache For: Creativity and the Unfolding of Your Soul. It focuses on the creative process and its spiritual necessity.
She is known today as an inspirational author who seeks to help others find joy in their own passions. Her teachings on this topic have moved beyond writing and into audio, She released a CD titled, Sounds True, Your Heart’s Prayer. It shares her own thoughts and beliefs about the struggles everyone faces in life. Mountain Dreamer considers herself to be at heart a storyteller who uses words to change one’s beliefs about themselves and the larger world.
Mountain Dreamer currently lives, alongside her husband, in Toronto, Canada.