Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Muser Profile: Maggie Breen
It was absolutely one of the highlights of my stay at La Muse Writer's and Artist's Retreat in France to enjoy listening to the great Maggie Breen read her poetry in the library around the wood stove. Those readings were the height of my literary life thus far, just so many brilliant writers gathered in a semi-circle reading old things, or new things they were working on...and Maggie was the best of us. Maybe it's her powerful verses, maybe it's that thick Irish accent, maybe it's both. Or it could be the deeply emotional themes. If you ever get an opportunity to hear Maggie read...run, don't walk.
Maggie and I were the longest tenured Musers during my stay of over two months (and she had been there for a month or two before I got there, having just recently completed The Camino (remind me to tell you about the Camino some time...A pilgrimage that crosses Europe in many places and ends on the coast of Spain) she was working on another collection of poems to follow up her book, Other Things I Didn't Tell. For a while, it was just Maggie and me at La Muse, we had the honor of house and dog sitting for John and Kerry, the establishment's fine owners, and we two spent ten days as sisters in a giant ancient house in October of 2014. We enjoyed a few nights of quiet domestic tranquility reading our day's work to each other, or Maggie in her chair on one side of the wood stove knitting as I sat in my chair on the other side reading aloud Dickens' Great Expectations to her.
Two more things about Maggie Breen: 1) if you chance to talk to Maggie, have her interpret one of your recent dreams for you (she's great at it), and 2) if she comes to you looking for a fellowship or employment? Give her the fellowship or the job She's the best of the best.
So, seek out her work. Here's a link to her publisher's website (her poetry collection is also available on Amazon for non-European readers) and a link to an interview with Maggie.