Beech River Books

The Story of Ellacoya   A prose poem saga

by Jeanne Clark
The Story of Ellacoya

The HERIMA series

The Story of Ellacoya is the first in Jeanne Clark's HERIMA series, which also includes Goldenrod and Thomas Clark's Journal. Herima, the storytelling old woman's name, is an invention linking the feminine her with the masculine [h]im and ending with a.

While her Story of Ellacoya arose from a kernel of inspiration from the shadowy legend of Ellacoya, Kona, Ahanton, and the description of Lake Winnipesaukee as a "Smile of the Great Spirit," it is not an anthropological or historically accurate treatise. Few customs and no characters are real. What is real and what permeates the verses of this story is her respect for the land, for the enduring spirits of the Northeastern Woodlands Abenaki and their descendants.

What inhabits her spirit are those ancient wrongs and joys still whispering from every branch and stream, still rumbling soft in every rock and mountain. The story seems to come from the land itself—gift of ancient Earth.

“...very picturesque. It is like watching a movie, full of colorful description and written in an eloquent form which is pleasing.”

—David Searching Owl, Ojibwa/Abenaki musician

“I loved this story. The writing enabled me to see the scene, to smell the smells, and to feel the wind. Anyone interested and curious about the Native American thought process, the Native American spirituality, their way of seeing the world, would find this very informative and interesting.”

—Deborah New Moon Rising, Abenaki storyteller

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$21.95 / paperback / 320 pages / 6" x 9" /
Beech River Books / 2009 / ISBN 978-0-9793778-9-1

Jeanne Clark is the recipient of the 2009 New Hampshire Senior Poets Laureate Award from Amy Kitchener's Angels Without Wings Foundation. Despite her acclaim as a writer, she says she would rather have been born as a sixteenth-century Abenaki or as a black bear.


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