A master of eloquence and innovative language, Martin Prechtel is a leading thinker, writer and teacher whose work, both written and oral, hopes to promote the subtlety, irony and pre-modern vitality hidden in any living language. His life, the well known subject of his previous books Secrets of the Talking Jaguar and Long Life, Honey in the Heart , took him from his native New Mexico upbringing as a half-blood, Native American from a Pueblo Indian reservation to the village of Santiago Atitlan where he eventually served the Tzutujil Mayan population as a full village member becoming a principal in the body of village leaders, responsible for instructing the young people in the meanings of their ancient stories that took place in the rituals of adult rights of passage.
Martin once again resides in his native New Mexico. Teaching internationally through story, music, ritual and writing, Martin helps people in many lands to retain their diversity while remembering their own sense of place in the daily sacred through the search for the Indigenous Soul. Broadly cherished, Martin's third book, The Disobedience of the Daughter of the Sun: Ecstasy and Time, has become a runaway, underground hit. Martín's fourth book, The Toe Bone and the Tooth, the highly anticipated third in the narrative trilogy of Martin's autobiographical series, was enthusiastically received in the UK, South Africa and Australia in October 2002 and is due to be released in the United States in February 2003 by Thorsons, an imprint of HarperCollins.
"Martin Prechtel is one of the most profound teachers I have ever encountered. He is an unusually gifted artist, musician, storyteller who guides and initiates with passion, kindness, eloquence, wisdom, fierceness and humor, awakening us to the sacred realities present everywhere at all times. To be with Martin is to remember the forgotten divinity that is the very essence of who we are." --Rabbi Aryeh Hirschfield
Robert Bly describes Martin as "A short kind of pony that gallops through the fields of
human possibility with flowers dropping out of his mouth..."
photo credit: Eric Swanson
Interview with Martin Prechtel
by Derrick Jensen in
The Sun magazine, April, 2001
(Click here for the article)
Praise for Secrets of the Talking Jaguar and Long Life, Honey in the Heart:
"A Superbly written work...Perhaps most remarkable is the luminous eloquence of Prechtel's
language-the book is written in a style worthy of the reverence accorded by most oral peoples
to the beauty of living language...It's a landmark text, a kind of talisman filled
with clues for those working on behalf of the wild, more-than-human earth.
Don't miss it."
-- David Abram author of The Spell of the Sensuous
"In Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, Prechtel . . . shows how to infuse language with spirit
and a sense of the sacred without sacrificing its sensuousness.
He demonstrates for us how a trained bard of a traditional society
might attack a writing project-with all 20 layers transparent and tingling!"
-- Steven Larson, for Common Boundary
"This eloquent and expressive work. . .is highly recommended."
-- Library Journal
"Told with great honesty, insight, and generosity, Prechtel's chronicle offers modern
readers a privileged and rare glimpse into the complex and spiritually rich life of a contemporary Mayan village."
-- Rocky Mountain News
"A lyrical, haunting memoir of one man's spiritual rebirth in a Mayan
village before it is ravaged by guerrilla warfare and modern times. Long Life,
Honey in the Heart is a cry from the heart-a lonely yearning for an ancient beautiful culture now gone forever."
-- Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking
"The Mayan Gods, who hold eloquence above all else, must surely be pleased with this soul,
who in this lifetime is named Martin Prechtel."
-- Clarissa Pinkola Estis, Ph.D., author of Women Who Run With Wolves
"It's a precious thing, this book. I've never known another like it.
It's a great encyclopedia of beauty... Like some poems of Neruda's, it is a
treasure house of language, in service to life."
-- Robert Bly