ABOUT THIS BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: September 4, 2018
By (author) Julia Bouwsma; Foreword by Afaa M. Weaver
In 1912 the State of Maine forcibly evicted an interracial community of roughly forty-five people from Malaga Island, a small island off the coast of Phippsburg, Maine. Though Malaga had been their home for generations, nine residents (including the entire Marks family) were committed to the Maine School for the Feeble Minded in Pownal, Maine. The others struggled to find homes on other islands or on the mainland, where they were often unwelcome. The Malaga school was dismantled and rebuilt as a chapel on another island. Seventeen graves were exhumed from the Malaga cemetery, consolidated into five caskets, and reburied at the Maine School for the Feeble Minded. Just one year after the start of the eviction proceedings, the Malaga community was erased.Midden confronts the events and over one hundred years of silence that surround this shameful incident in Maine’s history. Utilizing a wide range of poetic styles-epistolary poems to ghosts, persona poems, erasure poems, interior poems, interviews and instructions, poems framed both in the past and in the present-Midden delves into the vital connections between land, identity, and narrative and asks how we can heal the generations and legacies of damage that result when all three of these are deliberately taken in an attempt to rob people of their very humanity. The book is a poetic excavation of loss, a carving of the landscape of memory, and a reckoning with and tribute to the ghosts we carry and step over, often without our even knowing it.
Julia Bouwsma (Author)Julia Bouwsma is the author of Work by Bloodlight (Cider Press Review, 2017). She lives and works on an off-the-grid farm in the mountains of western Maine where she also serves as Book Review Editor for Connotation Press: An Online Artifact and as Library Director for Webster Library in Kingfield, Maine.