Contributor Spotlight: Margaret Adams

MargaretAdamsWhat would you like to share with our readers about the work you contributed to the Bellingham Review?

Coyotes” is set in rural Maine, where I grew up. I originally drafted it in 2007 as part of a short story series centered on a theme that I have returned to many times in my fiction: the pressure of unsaid things. While the family this story describes is fictional, aspects of the plot were inspired by real problems that we had with coyotes in my area when I was a child.

Tell us about your writing life.

I’ve been writing for about 10 years. From 2007-2010, I wrote a newspaper column for my hometown paper, the Bangor Daily News. Since then, I’ve published short fiction and personal essays in a variety of publications. While I’m not a full-time writer, writing has always been an integral part of how I process the world around me. I’m drawn to liminality, understated tragedies, and the spaces we hold when we don’t communicate with one another.

Which non-writing aspect(s) of your life most influences your writing?
Lately my writing has been most influenced by my work as a community health nurse/family nurse practitioner. I’m in a position where I often have the privilege of listening to other people’s stories—sometimes really moving stories, sometimes heartbreaking stories—all of which I am, of course, unable to recount, as they are all confidential. Still, I think the way in which I am exposed to human vulnerability as a healthcare provider is shaping my work as a writer.

What is your favorite book (or essay, poem, short story)? Favorite writer(s)?
Some of my favorite authors include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Barbara Kingsolver, and Louise Erdrich.

What are you reading right now?
At the moment I’m reading Ali Smith’s Artful and Ru Freeman’s On Sal Mal Lane.

What project(s) are you working on now, or next? 
I’ve just graduated from an MSN/MPH program and moved from Baltimore, Maryland, to Seattle, Washington. Now that I’m relocated and out of academia, I’m ready to start generating more new work, and I’m interested in tackling longer-form fiction.

Where can our readers connect with you online?
margaret-adams.com

Anything else our readers might want to know about you?
My crowd-pleasing fun fact is that I used to drive loaders, refuel planes, and do other logistical support work at South Pole Station, Antarctica. I had just graduated with a BA and it was the beginning of the recession when I took that job; I figured, hey, now or never. I did that on-and-off for two years and really loved it.


MARGARET ADAMS is a Maine-born writer and a family nurse practitioner living in Seattle, Washington. A former columnist for The Bangor Daily News and a Pushcart Prize nominee, her stories and essays have most recently appeared in The Portland Review, The Delmarva Review, and The Baltimore Review. Her website is margaret-adams.com.

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