Episode 4

Launching Ships: A Story of Helen of Troy | S. 2 Ep. 4

Our Story

Storyteller Maura McMahon offers us a clip from her show, Launching Ships: A User's Guide for Your Face. She took to the stage at Green Kill Art Center in Kingston, NY in spring 2022 and was accompanied by musician David Gonzalez. You’ll hear the events in the final moments of the Trojan War, as that infamous horse full of Spartan warriors is allowed into the city gates after a ten-year battle.

Our Guest

Maura McMahon is a storyteller and spoken word poet whose collection of Irish tales, pirate adventures, and women's sovereignty songs have entranced and empowered audiences across regional venues in New York’s Hudson Valley for over 15 years. As a character performer, Maura has embodied Grace O'Malley, and the Grey Sea Hag as well as Hippolyta the Amazonian Queen. My family most loves seeing Maura when she appears as Mrs. Claus of the Hudson Valley

Our Conversation

Marisa and Maura discuss what it means to tell the story of a character who inhabits a space in “Myth with a Capital M” and they explore:

  • Telling this story was a creative leap for Maura, a storyteller most at home with Celtic tales. Two thirds of this story comes from the original sources, including Virgil and Homer, and one third is Maura’s creative invention. Ultimately, it is a reclaiming of Helen’s story told through her own eyes.
  • Helen was renowned for her beauty, but what made Helen beautiful? People saw in her what they needed to.
  • Helen played a pivotal role in so many men’s stories, and yet she retained her sovereignty, her power, and her sense of self.
  • How this story emerged through conversations with a goddess and building a relationship with a character, and what that meant to Maura as storyteller and as an individual going through her own process.
  • What it means to tell a story outside of your own lineage and your usual source material. During the creative process, Maura asked, “Who am I to tell the story of a Greek goddess?”

Watch Maura’s entire show on Green Kill’s YouTube Channel. 

 You can also hear Maura’s story of Máire Rua O’Brien, a 17th century Irish heroine in, “A Most Ferocious Lady of the Castle,” episode 3 of season 1 of KnotWork Storytelling. 

Our Music

Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy, a Celtic Fiddle and multi-instrumental duo based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The traditional Irish reel we play at the start of the show is called "The College Groves." billyandbeth.com

Join Us in the Heroine's Knot

The Heroines' Knot is an online community for creative creatures on the quest for self-expression & collective renewal. Learn more and join us.

1:1 Coaching Opportunities

Marisa offers 1:1 coaching for Personal and Professional growth with her Healing for Heroines packages.

She also offers Story Weaver Book Coaching for memoirists, thought leaders, and creative entrepreneurs at the beginning of their writing journey.

Find more of Marisa's writing and get a copy of her book, The Sovereignty Knot www.marisagoudy.com

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About the Podcast

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KnotWork Storytelling
Myths Retold, from Ireland and Beyond

About your host

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Marisa Goudy

Marisa Goudy is a story healer, a writing coach, and a word witch. Her book, The Sovereignty Knot: A Woman’s Way to Freedom, Power, Love, and Magic, was released in 2020.
Marisa nurtures writers and storytellers in her long-running online writing community, the Sovereign Writers’ Knot.
On this show, Marisa combines her passion for story with her love of Irish literature, culture, and folklore and her fascination with the Celtic world. She has a particular love of stories of heroines, goddess, and women whose tales were forgotten by history.