Finalist for the 2019 Kraken Book Prize for Middle-Grade Fiction
Maureen Buchanan Jones is a professional daydreamer. She has always kept company with imaginary characters.
When Maureen was a child, her father’s work took the family around the world from Brooklyn to Mumbai, Den Haag, Esterhazy, Halifax, Galveston, Chicago, Brant Rock and more. The multiple moves afforded her a series of shifting scenes, people in varied circumstances and a vantage point of belonging to the world. She learned to write by watching what people do, listening to what they say, and more importantly, by noticing how they express what they feel. She came to understand narrative by telling stories to herself.
Maureen’s adult life began with a thirteen-year career waiting tables along with occasional jobs like harvesting cranberries, assembling circuit boards, sanding and prepping cars to be painted, and proctoring the Harvard Medical School exams. At twenty-seven with a nine-year old daughter, she decided to try college. This decision worked so well for her, that she continued until she was a Phi Beta Kappa and had a PhD in English Literature.
Maureen’s academic years found her teaching the classics from Beowulf to Beloved as well as technical writing to engineers and ecologically focused landscape architects. She loved being in the classroom exchanging questions and possibilities with students. After eighteen years, her inner stories were clamoring. Maureen launched her own business in 2004, Writing Full Tilt, and began leading writing workshops and retreats. She has the privilege to witness diverse voices, inventiveness, courage and exquisite craft. Almost all of her poetry and novels have arrived, page by page, in these writing sessions.
Maureen was the Executive Director of Amherst Writers & Artists from 2009-2018. She has led workshops with people who have experienced domestic violence, people in recovery, those who are grieving, teens, and the LGBTQ community. Her poetry has appeared in Woman in Natural Resources, 13th Moon, Peregrine, North Dakota Quarterly, Letters from Daughters to Fathers, Writer Advice, Equinox, Calyx and Chrysalis. Her prose has appeared in Orion and on WFCR-NPR. Her book of poems, blessed are the menial chores, is available on her website: www.writingfulltilt.com.