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    Age Desires Lyrics

    By Michele Karlsberg–

    Michele Karlsberg: Dolores Maggiore, author of Death and Love at the Old Summer Camp and Love and Lechery at Albert Academy is featured in this issue of the San Francisco Bay Times. I asked Dolores to discuss why she writes. 

    Dolores Maggiore: Why write? Why do I write? Why did I not write? When? And write what?

    These aren’t just the curious questions people ask me at readings. They come as ghostly self-interrogation during the night, and damn! I can’t just give name, rank and serial number.

    It’s torture … when I can’t write … when I couldn’t get a job in writing or publishing straight out of college. I had to write—poetry then—a compulsion. The song in the breeze made me do it. The heady bouquet rolling off the river running by my college lawn awakened my senses, a saturating aromatherapy masking all other sense and non-sense.

    Post college, I came to the Sorbonne in Paris. I breathed poetry. I drank poetry. My friends, speaking the lyrics of other continents, begged for lines from me in French—so easy to feel, to express in French. I demanded lines from myself, to sense the soul. Without poetry, I’d be nothing, right?

    And then crept up the serious 40s, the change of career and re-inventing of life—a psychosocial incline. Again, I had to write, no, not as a thirst, but as obligation: my social work program lacked lesbian resources in its consciousness-raising curriculum. Lesbians, we were not just female versions of gay men. I needed to write of lesbian voices, of lesbian issues, of lesbian literature, of lesbians in 1976–1990. I gave voice to lesbian mothers, struggling to give birth, to hold onto their children, to fight for their rights.

    I’d had a job to do. It was over. I was living without poetry, without spark, without the inspiration to write, except letters to my heroine writers to harass them on a perceived lack of feminist sensitivity. How dare Annie Dillard, and in a commencement address? I received apologetic responses. I wrote newspaper articles on travel and museums because the Hood River News needed them and asked me. I wrote nothing of me.

    Fifteen years later, at retirement’s door, my childhood summer adventures in Maine came to haunt me along with my Sicilian roots, itching to be heard. I answered, and with a great deal of poetic license and humor, wrote my first YA mysteries, for it was a mystery how the plots came to me after sessions on a pulsed electro-magnetic mat and brain-wave entrainment system. Something drove me to write these YA novels.

    Now as I approach the wrapping up of the third book in the trilogy of mystery and thrills, I may be coming to a peak again. Will it be done? This fulfillment of a need?

    Will another compelling need push me down the slope again, demanding a slog upwards? Now that I’m seventy, I may be hearing the siren’s song. Maybe age desires lyrics again. Maybe it’s the Fates, my name for the Kates: the Grays and the de Gutes of the Portland writing world, who inspire and lure—more words, more memories, more songs to come. And I hope to answer the call to raise my voice again in the poetry of youth.

    Author of the Rainbow Award-winning “Death and Love at the Old Summer Camp” and “Love and Lechery at Albert Academy,” Dolores lives in Portland, Oregon, with her wife, Terrie.

    Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management specializes in publicity for the LGBTQI community. This year, Karlsberg celebrates thirty years of successful book campaigns.