Born in Holyoke, MA Dan Shanahan has worked as a fisherman on Cape Cod, a welder on cargo ships in Quincy Shipyard near Boston, and truck driver and warehouseman on the Alaska Pipeline. He began writing poems at fifteen, spending days in the reading room of the Holyoke, MA Library listening to 78rpm vinyl records of Yeats, Dylan Thomas and T.S. Eliot. Hitch-hiked US and Canada with a portable Olivetti typewriter and a backpack to capture the poetry of the universe. Published author of three books of poetry and publications in magazines and books. Dan has traveled widely having lived in Alaska and India. He has studied meditation and other forms of yoga for over forty years. He is a founding member of Stone Soup Poets, considered the longest running open poetry forum in the US. Founder of Drumlin, a contemplative performing arts ensemble, and sole proprietor of Lotus Seed Poetry. Dan is a guest teacher at Holyoke (MA) Community College & the city’s Adult Basic Education school where he offers course work that focuses on experiencing the poem as a vital presence in one’s imagination.
Recipient of two grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, awards which made possible the publication of two books of poetry: The Alaska Poems (1995), and Crystal Lake (1997).
In 1975 while working on Alaska’s North Slope he read about a meditation master from India. A few months later he met the teacher in California where Dan received a rare and little known initiation, an event that altered his perception and awakened a deep sensation of love. He then traveled and lived in India. Since that time he has practiced meditation and chanting, and continues to study the teachings of his masters.
Kirtan Poetry – An evolving collaboration since 2010 with David Russell, founder of Dave Russell Kirtan (www.daverussellkirtan.com) a devotional chanting ensemble based in Northampton, MA. This performance work includes reading poems in the silence between chants with musical accompaniment by Charlie Braun’s (www.charliebraun.com) subtle guitar work. As a result a new collection of poems has emerged. Readings at these kirtans stream from many mystical traditions. Reading from Dan’s own work are also included.
He lives in Northampton, MA with a divine being, his wife, Carla Bee. They are blessed with brilliant, radiant and gifted children and grandchildren.
“Lotus Seed Poetry is dedicated to my spiritual masters whose boundless compassion and joy enlighten my life and the lives of countless devotees.”