About the Author

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Sara Quinn Rivara’s poetry and essays have appeared in a wide variety of journals. She is currently dean of the Humanities and Social Science divisions at Mt. Hood Community College, in Gresham, Oregon.¬† Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and she was the winner of the inaugural Lake Prize. ¬†Rivara is also a classically trained singer, and performs with a variety of choral groups around the Pacific Northwest. She holds a BA in English and Music From Kalamazoo College, and an MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

I grew up in the North Shore of Chicagoland–Lake Michigan a bike ride to the East, the city a Metra ride to the SouthEast. We could see the Sears Tower from the top of the waterslide at the pool. I went to college in Kalamazoo, Michigan because a) once my extended family when on a vacation to Michigan when I was in high school and 22 of us stayed in a double-wide trailer and a few tents and it was the only vacation I remember and b) Kalamazoo College sends every junior abroad for their junior year. I went to Aberdeen, Scotland. I want to go back. I stayed in Michigan because I got a boyfriend and got cervical cancer and then got married and worked as a factory girl, a waitress, a receptionist, an assistant librarian in a one-room rural library, choir manager, alto section leader, freelance singer, preschool teacher, then I went to grad school, became an adjunct instructor, got a tenure-track teaching job, bought a house next to an abandoned paper mill, had a baby, and got divorced when I was 30. Then I learned how to be fierce. Then I learned how to be free.

In 2014, my son, my two dogs and two cats moved across the country to the Pacific Northwest. I have never felt more afraid. I have never been more at home.