“Sing It Loud,” Creative Nonfiction
“What if we allowed ourselves to be deeply, vulnerably seen? What if we weren’t afraid to show our failure, to want something badly, to love with everything we’ve got? The potential exists within the grasp of the writer to influence the way we as humans connect to each other, and to ourselves.”
“Still Life,” Decor Maine & Stonecoast Review
“’Pretend she’s a landscape,’ the professor says. ‘Bodies are intimidating. Landscapes are not.’
I want to tell him about the most intimidating landscapes I know. The Alaskan backcountry in grizzly season, maybe, or the bulls at 17,000 feet who threatened me all the way down the jagged Cordillera Blanca. The way a -14 day creeps into one’s bones on the Maine coast, or what it’s like to sleep outside on an Adirondack night in the dead of winter. In the landscapes I travel, bodies are the least intimidating thing. But to say this would betray my purpose. I have come here to sit still. I have come here to learn how to stay.”
“The Office of the Mayor of Miessi,” SLICE Issue 23: Flight
(Excerpt from Finding Petronella)
“I have a photograph of Petronella in which she is almost looking at the camera. She’s standing in the old sauna at Morgamoja gold claim in Lemmenjoki with her hand on a doorknob carved from a gnarled tree branch. A scarf is wrapped around her head, and she’s dressed in trousers and a long-sleeved shirt, sleeves rolled in a way that makes her arms look large in proportion to her body. She is almost smiling. Love is sustained, focused attention, a scientist I knew said once. That photograph. I must have looked at it a thousand times.”
“Real Magic,” Decor Maine
“I am a person who is always looking for magic. There are things I do that I don’t readily admit in the company of other adults. Sometimes I pretend the stairs are a piano, and I sing as I go up and down. When I check into a hotel room on a business trip, the first thing is always to take off my pants and bounce on the bed. At the moment the orange sun dips below the horizon, I jump to try and see it set twice. And I still, at 36, talk to trees. I wrap my arms around their trunks, whisper my questions. Murmur their names like prayers: birch, ash, pine, spruce, maple, hemlock, cherry, aspen. Nearly all of the Eastern forest is threatened by a foreign insect or fungus, deforestation or climate change. When I see an old growth tree standing thick and strong in the woods, I cry. Kiss the bark, say thank you, thank you.“
“How to Sleep in an Airport,” Hippocampus
“They bring you the world, and together you try and put it into words. My mother’s accent is like music to me, wrote Britney from Peru. This world cannot guarantee you a damn thing, wrote Mary from Jamaica. The best description of home you’ve read was by a boy from Iraq named Ahmed: The stars I saw, I kept them in my head.”
“Long Live the King,” Ultiworld
“If you were to come in off the street, you’d have felt the heat hovering over the packed crowd. You’d have seen us all there, in ears and feathers and animal print onesies, dancing to Madonna, to Gloria Estefan, to Avril Lavigne; dancing on the tables, dancing on the bar, hugging each other, crying into our whiskies. But there was something underneath it all. We knew we had just lost a man who loved to play, and that felt significant.”
“Valley of the Bulls,” Winner of the 2019 Waterman Fund “Humor in the Wild” Essay Contest, Appalachia, Winter 2019/Spring 2020
“I’m thinking about how we are lost at just under 17,000 feet with all the wrong equipment, squandering daylight with weather on the way, when I look up and realize I’m missing it: the blaze of orange sky behind us, a fingernail moon rising into blue, the sloping white shoulders of the mountains echoing back the colors in a muted glow. Everything is silent. We are standing on the spine of the world.”
“First Light,” Decor Maine
“I have sliced the bow of a kayak through waves as high as my shoulder. I have drifted with friends outside a concert venue, brought to tears by moonlight and song. I have passed my feet through the shallows at night and seen phosphorescent plankton blink on and off like so many stars. Maybe home is as simple as this: a place that brings you alive.”
“Unseen Canyon,” Camas, Summer 2018 “Rivers” Issue
“It’s as if the river and sky have switched places—around us a murky brown, above us a clear blue-green. I try to describe it to Elly as if I’m not seeing it for the first time, as if I know it by heart. The way these colors touch, the difference between shade and shadow. Always the canyon, the red canyon, the slowly creeping rocks.
‘I can see it,’ she says.”
As she looks back on her road to the Freeride World Tour, Jackie Paaso carves out space for women in skiing
Women of the River
The women of Maine’s whitewater who are making the state’s waterways a place for everyone
Starry Maine: A Guide to Maine Stargazing
Where to find the darkest skies, tips and tricks for budding astrophotographers, and future celestial events to watch for.
Writer and outdoor guide Jenny O’Connell and friends set out on a snowy expedition to Baxter State Park in search of winter’s gifts.
An inclusive ski touring organization aims to change the landscape of backcountry skiing in Maine.
Speak for the Trees
AMC’s Steve Tatko bridges community and conservation to preserve Maine’s Acadian forest
Mountains into Horizons
An adaptive sports program makes skiing accessible to all
Falling Over Maine
A jump out of a plane gives writer Jenny O’Connell new outlook on the place she calls home.
Telling What Matters
A new poetry anthology from The Telling Room elevates the next generation
Just Don’t Fall
Rippleffect’s Toby Arnold empowers people to push past their limits through ice climbing and outdoor adventure
The Next White Blaze
After completing the Appalachian Trail, Briana DeSanctis is chasing the transcendent feeling of thru-hiking across America.
Just Do It
From organizing a summer camp in middle school to hiking the Appalachian Trail, Chloë Rowse has charted her own path, and encourages girls to do the same
The Gulf of Maine Research Institute builds climate resilience through community conversation
House of Stories
A peek inside the York home of Artist Lauren Gillette, where every surface reflects a fascination with narrative
The Full, Unchecked Self
A renowned Maine artist explores his wilder side, the power of collaboration, and why Charlie Hewitt will never get tired of being Charlie Hewitt
Forests Inside Us
Jordan Kendall Parks uses natural materials to create art connecting land and people
Saving the Sentinel
The people working to extend Fort Gorges’ lease on life and its place in Portland history
The Material Has More to Give You
Benjamin Spalding celebrates the life of objects—and humans—with a fresh approach to sculpture
The Click That Says Yes
Artist Kathleen Florance follows her intuition to address the challenges of our time
To Witness, to Listen, to Receive the World: An Interview with Ada Limón
“Let’s Get into Some Real Trouble”: An Interview with Cate Marvin
Pecha Kucha Speaker, Midcoast Maine, 2019
The Sky Where you Are
Opera libretto commissioned by An Opera Theater that sheds light on advocacy and domestic violence. World premiere: October 2020, Decameron Opera Coalition, Tales from a Safe Distance. Added to the Library of Congress in 2021.
Home of Air
Nonfiction poetry collection featured in Surface First Tilts West, visual artist Jordan Kendall Parks’ interactive outdoor art installation on Little Chebeague Island in Casco Bay, Maine.
Not an Apology: A Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellows Anthology
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