The writer at age 18

Poet. Writer. Human ecologist. Graduate student in an Interdisciplinary PhD program.

Spiritual mermaid. I grew up on the Maine coast exploring islands, marshes and bogs. My family lived in historic houses. I polished a suit of armor for a weekly allowance one summer at Castle Tucker when I was 11. (We lived in museums.) I built fairy houses in the roots of trees and uncovered the mystery of a 200-year island tradition. In my youth, I spent a lot of time at my family’s island & coastal mountain preserve; I swam in the Sheepscot River and shot with a bow & arrow. Once, a blue mussel heldfast to my toe and wouldn’t let go.  In lakes, I’ve seduced eels by flashlight.  In 1991, I began reading about and studying western astrology, and cartomancy (including Celtic-based oracle cards and RWS Tarot.) By college, I began reading for others, mostly for my peers, using astrology and cartomancy, but also palmistry as part of my practice as an intuitive Empath. One summer I swam in the same dark waters off Squirrel Island, where the poet Anne Sexton took her nightly plunge.  In college and graduate school, I studied ecology, writing & design, mythology and folklore, astronomy (physics), conservation related sciences (including biology), anthropology and linguistics, Spanish, environmental law & policy, nonprofit management & green business. I hold a master’s degree in human ecology from College of the Atlantic. I’ve navigated a diesel-powered boat to Mount Desert Rock, hobbled over 40+ Maine islands on an injured foot and stepped in seal scat…but still managed to put my better foot forward. In 2001, I completed my undergraduate degree in human ecology with a senior thesis on the 200-year-long tradition of Maine island fairy houses, focusing on ecology and folklore. In my teens and twenties, I became enthralled by Celtic fairy folklore and especially the Arthurian legends, and the Lady of the Lake. Today I am exploring Arthurian literature with a special interest in the Lady of the Lake, and her various identities, and her relationship with marshes, lake-adjacent wetlands and other supernatural feminine figures in aquatic, marshy, or intertidal environments, e.g. selkies and mermaids.

I’ve conducted academic research and field work in Maine, Wyoming, California, Maryland,  and in Co. Cork Ireland. I worked “undercover” in Acadia NP (years ago!) and wore the “Stetson” hat as a park ranger. I’ve led conferences & workshops on climate change with special expertise in areas related to wetlands and climate change. A life-long lover of dance and performance, I’ve danced on stage in an environmental-themed ballet and modeled bikinis on a runway, and performed on stages in Portland, Maine as a poetess and actress.  I’ve volunteered on three town conservation commissions and with multiple land trusts.  I’ve explored caves and ruins–and took part in caring for historical artifacts at an 1809 jail museum. I’ve paddled a kayak through a rainforest and stood beneath King Kong’s waterfall on Kaua’i. Most recently, I went on a solo research adventure to Ireland to attend a conference and paddle in Lough Hyne, a rare saltwater lake. I drove through rural southwest Ireland and swam in the Irish Sea. It was a transformative experience that allowed me to continue exploring my ancestral roots.

When time allows, I teach writing classes.  I am currently designing a literary workshop series at Westbrook Adult Education. I also love to write poetry and creative nonfiction. I live in southern Maine surrounded by lakes and wetlands. In 2012, I founded the Healthy Waters Coalition of Maine. Formerly, I taught for ten years as an adjunct faculty member at Southern Maine Community College.

I’m a fan of Ann Radcliffe, Wallace Stegner, the Confessional Poets, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Rachel Carson, Mary Shelley, Donald Hall, Anais Nin, William Safire (On Language), Terry Tempest Williams, Eudora Welty, Shirley Jackson, Pearl Jam, Poe, Edgar Allen Poe, Johnny Depp, Portishead, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Romanticism, Victorian gothic novels especially by the Brontës, the 14th c. Pearl Poet, Sharon Blackie,

The writer, 2015

The writer, 2015

Stephen King, Annie Dillard, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, True Blood, Wes Anderson, Tina Fey, Gary Oldman, Tim Burton, Len Wiseman, C. S. Lewis, Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris, classic SNL, the Blues Brothers, Citizen Cope, Lorde, Karen Russell, and Carl Hiaasen. My music collection is a bit eclectic, along with books about marine and coastal science, as well as anything to do with bryophyte ecology–mosses. I enjoy natural history, anything to do with Irish, Scottish and English literature and history, especially Medieval, Romantic and Victorian periods of literature.

As of 2018, I am a Research Fellow at University of Maine as a part-time graduate student in the Interdisciplinary PhD program, with a focus on English, ecology and marine biology, focusing on coastal wetlands, eelgrass, and saltmarsh ecology.