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 over eleven years now, 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, near what used to be called the Mohawk Trail. After eight years living at the Cromwell Children’s Home in Connecticut (now called Ädelbrook), I married while attending North Park College in Chicago. I also attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and earned an MA in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Iowa. 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 for American Indian students that was headquartered in Chicago.
Three talented and wonderful children have graced my life: Katie, an
electrician, Michael a high school math teacher and Patti, a middle
school biology teacher.
So far, I have authored five books, the most recent a collection of poetry, Hunger Feast, published in December of 2017 by Albatross Press in Chicago. Others include 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. Albatross Press out of Chicago published Games of Transformation 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 Aazhoomom: Convergence, Indigenous Art Exhibition (Dec. 2017); Thinking Continental: Writing the Planet One Place at a Time (2017); Dawnland Voices 2.0 (Issue no.3 & 4, October 2016 & May 2017); Yellow Medicine Review (Fall 2015); 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, 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—six feral cats, raccoons, squirrels, voles, moles, rabbits, and dogs—but none are indulged like Inky and Shadow, my resident cats.