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Author Talk with Robin Clifford Wood: The Field House: A Writer’s Life Lost and Found on an Island in Maine
September 22, 2021 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm EDT
Born of illustrious New England stock, Rachel Field was a National Book Award–winning novelist, a Newbery Medal–winning children’s writer, a poet, playwright, and rising Hollywood success in the early twentieth century. Her light was abruptly extinguished at the age of forty-seven, when she died at the pinnacle of her personal happiness and professional acclaim.
Fifty years later, Robin Clifford Wood stepped onto the sagging floorboards of Rachel’s long-neglected home on the rugged shores of an island in Maine and began dredging up Rachel’s history. She was determined to answer the questions that filled the house’s every crevice: Who was this vibrant, talented artist whose very name entrances those who still remember her work? Why is that work—so richly remunerated and widely celebrated in her lifetime—so largely forgotten today? The journey into Rachel’s world took Wood further than she ever dreamed possible, unveiling a life fraught with challenge, and buried by tragedy, and yet incandescent with joy.
The Field House is a book about beauty—beauty in Maine island landscapes, in friendship, love, and heartbreak; beauty hidden beneath a woman’s woefully unbeautiful exterior; beauty in a rare, delightful spirit that still whispers from the past. Just listen.
Robin Clifford Wood is a columnist, biographer, memoirist, poet, blogger, and teacher. Her feature stories have appeared in Solstice Literary Magazine, Port City Life Magazine, Mainepublic.org, Bangor Metro, Valley News, and Genesee Valley Parent Newsmagazine. One of Wood’s poem’s won second place in the 2020 Writer’s Digest annual competition, and another poem, “The Ballad of Hadlock, the Seal Hunter Showman,” was produced and presented in the 2020 remote season of Penobscot Theatre Company as an audio performance.
Wood is a graduate of Yale University, where she completed a BA in American Studies. She also has an MA in English from the University of Rochester and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program.
Wood lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs. She enjoys being active outdoors, playing the piano, crossword puzzles, a really good cheeseburger, and regular visits with her four children and their growing families.