MY LIFE

betsy-headshot

Why any­one becomes a writer is a mys­tery.
How is another story entirely.
Here are some of the things I’ve done along the way.


 I was born in New York City in 1944. My first job was as a VISTA volunteer working with Mexican Americans in Colorado. For fifteen years, I worked in academia, studying, writing for academic audiences, and teaching literature. Then an irresistible spiritual urge led me to find out about the rest of the world, so I masqueraded for a short while as an investment analyst for firms in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston.

My real life as a writer began as a local reporter for a small Maine paper, the Livermore Falls Advertiser. Some of those pieces got reprinted here. Inspired by the power of visual storytelling, I produced a video documentary, Oak Hill Road Wars (2001), on environmental and social justice issues in Maine’s lakes district, which won a Telly Award for documentary and has been used by legislators to revise Maine law. I contributed heavily to a book on the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake, Maine.

My first fiction, a novella Spring Bear (2009), is a gritty backwoods tale about the struggle of a young girl, Evvie Mallow, to protect her unborn child. It won a Maine Literary Award.

Discovering and editing for publication my writer father Croswell Bowen’s long-lost WWII memoir Back From Tobruk (Potomac, 2012), about the brutality of war and the resilience of the human spirit, propelled me towards a biography of him, a man born into privilege who dedicated himself to the cause of the common man.

Croswell Bowen: A Writer’s Life, A Daughter’s Portrait will appear in September 2014, from the University of Nebraska Press under the Potomac imprint.

I live in Maine with my family, continue to write, and serve on the boards of organizations involved with filmmaking, the environment, and historic preservation.

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