She stands in front of a packed room, eyes closed, smile on her face, and recites stories about Ireland and snowdrops and home. Paula Meehan, a Dublin poet, has decades of work to share and decades more to produce. Nothing about her homeland is too small to examine or too large to expose—an artist with courage.
When Minnesota Cold was released in 2009, Sarah Palin was talking about death panels hidden in President Obama’s healthcare plan. My first radio interview as an author, I was asked about national healthcare policy. For a person who usually listens to new acquaintances’ political beliefs before disclosing my own, the experience was jolting. If you write speculative fiction with political and social themes, you will be asked for your opinions. Of course.
Leaving Ireland tomorrow. Back to the quiet of my office and to a regular schedule and everyday life. February’s AWP swarm of thousands of attendees representing all parts of the creative and business parts of the writing world will fill another notebook with stuff I need to manage, but these eight days with ten other writers has filled my heart with stories.