After retiring from United Way of Southeastern Connecticut as a community planner, I moved to Southeastern Illinois to be near my family, especially four grandchildren. While grateful to be involved in their lives, I turned my energies back to a long-time love of poetry. Soon I became a member of Six on Saturday, (SOS), a group that meets once a month to share new work for helpful review and support. We have been together for nearly ten years, happy to see our poetic output thrive while we enjoy brunches and libations in the process. We all are members of the St. Louis Poetry Center.
I was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, raised at a Children’s Home in Cromwell, Connecticut, attended universities in Chicago, Rock Island and Iowa City. My employment was through United Ways in Rock Island, Illinois, Alexandria, Virginia, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Gales Ferry, Connecticut. In-between Alexandria and Green Bay, I served as a vice-president of administration for NAES College—a four-year private college in Chicago for American Indian students.
I have three talented and wonderful children. Katie is an electrician. Michael and Patti are public school teachers. My long-time companion, Terry Thorson, has developed a good degree of enthusiasm for the St. Louis Cardinals in addition to his true loves—the Green Bay Packers and the University of Wisconsin Badgers.
So far I have authored four books, the most recent a chapbook of poetry, Worn Cities, published by Finishing Line Press in 2014. My memoir, Along Came a Spider, was published in 2011 by Bowman Books New England Native Authors. Games of Transformation came out in 2011 and was published by Albatross Press in 2011. In Mi’kmaq Country: Selected Stories & Poems, was also published by Albatross Press in 2007. Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers awarded Games of Transformation the 2012 poetry book of the year and Worn Cities the 2015 chapbook of the year.
My most recent work has appeared in the journal Dawnland Voices 2.0 (Issue no.1); the journal Yellow Medicine Review (Fall 2015); the journal Cream City Review (Spring/Summer 2014); and in the anthology Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England: (2014 – University of Nebraska Press).
My Mi’kmaq roots run deep in the Kespu’kwitk District (Yarmouth County) of Nova Scotia. I am especially proud to be included among the many Mi’kmaq artists, humanists, educators, lawyers and writers that are archived at the website, Tepi’ketuek, http://mikmawarchives.ca/.
When respite is needed from writing, I maintain a perennial garden with its rampant sweet grass plot and trumpet flower vines that cover a cedar arbor. I especially love the two miniature lilac bushes, peonies and three thriving eastern white pines. Then there are all the animals—raccoons, squirrels, voles, moles, rabbits, and dogs—but none are indulged like Inky and Shadow, our resident cats.