Authors and Artists :: Susan Polis Schutz
Susan began her writing career at the age of seven, producing a neighborhood newspaper for her friends in the small country town of Peekskill, New York, where she was raised. Upon entering her teen years, she began writing poetry as a means of understanding her feelings. For Susan, writing down what she was thinking and feeling brought clarity and understanding to her life, and today she heartily recommends this to everyone. She continued her writing while attending Rider University, where she majored in English and biology and later was the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree. Following her graduation from Rider, she entered a graduate program in physiology, while at the same time teaching elementary school in Harlem and contributing freelance articles to newspapers and magazines.
Stephen Schutz, a native New Yorker, spent his early years studying drawing and lettering as a student at the High School of Music and Art in New York City. He went on to attend M.I.T., where he received his undergraduate degree in physics. During this time, he continued to pursue his great interest in art by taking classes at the Boston Museum of Fine Art. He later entered Princeton University where he earned his PhD in theoretical physics.
Susan and Stephen met in 1965 at a social event at Princeton. Together, they participated in peace movements and anti-war demonstrations to voice their strong feelings against war and destruction of any kind. They motorcycled around the farmlands of New Jersey and spent many hours outdoors with each other enjoying their deep love and appreciation of nature. They daydreamed of how life should be.
In 1969, Susan and Stephen married and moved to Colorado to begin life together in the mountains where Susan did freelance writing at home and Stephen researched solar energy in a laboratory. On the weekends, they experimented with printing Susan's poems, surrounded by Stephen's art, on posters that they silk-screened in their basement. They loved being together so much that it did not take long for them to begin disliking the 9-to-5 weekday separation that resulted from their pursuing different careers. They decided that their being together all the time was more important than anything else. So Stephen left his research position in the physics laboratory, and he and Susan set out in their pickup-truck camper to spend a year traveling across the country and selling their silk-screened posters in towns and cities along the way. Their love of life and each other, which they so warmly communicate, touched people everywhere they went, and in response to incredible public demand for more of the couple's unique and inspiring creations, their first book, Come Into the Mountains, Dear Friend, was published in 1972.
Since then, Susan has authored many more bestselling books of poetry. Her poems have been published on over 425 million greeting cards and have appeared in numerous national and international magazines and high-school and college textbooks. Susan also writes music and has recorded her poems to the accompaniment of her contemplative background music.
Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, she and Stephen created a small book of Susan's poetry and Stephen's artwork entitled One World, One Heart, which was distributed free to over seven million people throughout the world with the hope that Susan's words would encourage people everywhere to put aside their differences and come together in peace, understanding, and love.
Susan recently completed her autobiography, Blue Mountain: Turning Dreams Into Reality, which chronicles her and Stephen's history and provides valuable business lessons. Her latest undertaking is making documentary films with her production company, IronZeal Films. Her first documentary, Following Your Dreams, tells the stories of people who have overcome all odds and misfortunes to pursue their life dreams.
In addition to designing and illustrating all of Susan's books, Stephen is the genius behind bluemountain.com - the Internet greeting card service he created and cofounded with the help of his and Susan's eldest son, Jared. Many of Susan and Stephen's friends as well as their other children, Jordanna and Jorian, also contributed their time and talents to bluemountain.com, which quickly grew to become one of the world's most popular websites.
Stephen is also an accomplished photographer and calligrapher. He continues to study physics as a hobby and holds a patent for his 5-D™ Stereograms, which are innovative, computer-generated illustrations and photographs containing hidden, multidimensional images that seem to "come alive."
Stephen's most recent creation is the popular children's phonics website starfall.com, a free, public-service, interactive website where kindergarten and first grade children have fun while learning to read. It has received much well-deserved attention and praise and is used extensively by schools in the U.S. and Canada.
Susan's accomplishments of the past, remarkable as they are, do not compare with her triumph as a documentary film maker in Anyone and Everyone, her very first film released by IronZeal Films™. Connected by having a son or daughter who is gay, parents from diverse backgrounds discuss their experiences. The film is playing on PBS TV. Susan's second documentary film, Following Dreams, is also playing on PBS TV.
After thirty-eight years of marriage, Susan and Stephen are more committed than ever to each other, to their children, and to helping people everywhere communicate their deepest and most heartfelt emotions. None of their three children live at home now, but Susan and Stephen still spend as much time as possible with them. The rest of their time is split between traveling and working together in their studio in Colorado. Theirs is an atmosphere of joy, love, and spontaneous creativity as they continue to produce the words, the poems, the rhythm, and the art that have reached around the world, opening the hearts and enriching the lives of more than 500 million people in every country, in every language, in every culture. Truly, our world is a happier place because of this perfectly matched and beautifully blended couple, Susan Polis Schutz and Stephen Schutz.
Examples of Blue Mountain Arts products by Susan Polis Schutz
Little Keepsake Books
Sculpted Paper Collection
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