Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland in 1957, I spent the first half of my life working as an educator, researcher, activist and community organizer for the rights and the empowerment of low-income women in Ireland and the developing world.
At the age of forty, full of a nameless longing, a soul hunger, for wildness in the world and in myself, I moved to western Montana in the United States. There I fell in love with the magnificence of wilderness. For nearly ten years I spent time cavorting with bison, wolves and grizzly bears, hiking high mountains and immersing myself in places that were as far from a road as I could get.
A life-threatening diagnosis, followed by years of chronic illness, returned me to a passion of my younger years. I began again to write – first poetry and short stories, then a memoir; most recently a novel, all the time exploring the relationship between wild Nature and Soul, the transformational potency of grief and loss, and the meandering of my/our lifelong journey towards ever deeper, ever more authentic embodiment of who we truly are, towards belonging, towards a way to live more and more in right relationship with the other-than-, and the more-than-human beings and powers that make our lives possible.
I am the author of the memoir Mine To Carry: An Irishwoman’s Journey Through Forbidden Pregnancy, published in 2019 and Grand Prize winner of the 2020North Street Book Award for Self-Published Books. My novel A Dream of Flying, is forthcoming. As a writer, I am indebted to Marie Howe, Ellen Bass, Jane Hirshfield, Joe Millar, Dorianne Laux and Rachel Howard.
My Chapbook The Bruise of Your Absence was published by Finishing Line Press, in 2020. My second Chapbook Measureless Silence will be published, also by Finishing Line Press, in Nov. 2021. Other poems have appeared in a number of literary and online journals, including the NAUGATUK RIVER REVIEW, the WHITEFISH REVIEW, MOBIUS, LAST NIGHT and WOMEN’S VOICES FOR CHANGE.
As a Soul-Diver, and now a Soul Guide, I have been blessed by the wisdom and generosity of David Carson, (Cherokee), Kam Nightchase and Grandmother Arlene (Lakota) and Darnell and Smokey Rides at the Door (Blackfeet), and by the teachings and support of Martin Duffy, Chloe Goodchild, Kim Rosen, Bill Plotkin and Zhenevere Sophia Dao.
I enjoy sharing what I have learned and, when invited, love to use deep enquiry through poetry, voice and self-generated ceremony to support the quest for healing and growth, the navigation of major transitions, and the quest to live into our humanity in ways that support the flourishing of all Life. I have a special passion for the exploration of illness, bereavement, grief and loss as doorways into the depths of the authentic, embodied and soulful living we are here for.
At present, I live, together with my husband Jack, my dog and my two cats, in unceded Nisenan territory in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada of Northern California. I work as a writer, grief counsellor, Soul Guide and practitioner of Mogadao Qi Gong (mogadaoinstitute.com)
Surrounded still by the wild, I am grateful on a daily basis to be challenged by the social and political turmoil of our times, to be visited occasionally by cougar, raptor and bear, and to be able to exult in the presence and companionship of tall trees, year-long flowers, cascades of birdsong and the rushing majesty of the Yuba river.