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peggy newland goetzPeggy Newland, fiction and short story writer, Kingston

Peggy Newland was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She received her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Maine and her Master of Social Work at the University of Utah. Her short stories have appeared in Chelsea ("Five Mickey's Smoking"), Northern New England Review ("Coming Home"), and most recently, in Mississippi Review ("Snowmobiler Boy"). She is currently working on a collection titled Edge. She published a memoir, The Adventure of Two Lifetimes, in 2001, which chronicled two cross country bicycling adventures-her mother's of 1956 on a three speed Schwinn and her own in 1996 on a 24 speed. She has written many essays and articles concerning this trip (Chicken Soup for a Mother's Soul, Breakaway Books, Bicycle Love, Cup of Comfort, Moxie, Grit) and was featured on the Today Show as well as New Hampshire Public Radio. The rights to The Adventure of Two Lifetimes have been optioned for film. She recently completed her first novel called Ruth and Reverend Roy.

Newland has attended Dorset Colony, Kenyon Writers, Seacoast Writers, Utah Writers at Work and is currently a member of NHWP. Her closest inspiration comes from the dark humor of TC Boyle and Cormac McCarthy. She fills her writing room with sprawled volumes of their work and loves to write amidst the chaos of overturned books and thrown magazine articles.

As a social worker, Newland has seen disconnection, where "illness is medicated, dissension labeled and people cornered, boxed, not allowed the space in the larger garden of the world". She believes that with a world becoming sheltered by Bachelor/MTV/Fear Factor images in "red, white and blue, or black and white" that there "leaves little room for the gray or purple or wildly crazed chartreuse" of individuality. She hopes to describe, through her characters, "a telling of truths…of people digging through the darkness, hoping to find something other than the bite of exposure." Newland believes that shadows give people dimension, flavor and she wants to honor the unseen sides of lives often marginalized and unseen. Show how they can shine if given direct light. Peggy Newland was awarded a two year fellowship and assistantship with SNHU's new low residency MFA program in 2006.

Click here for an excerpt from Peggy Newland's novel
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Last updated: June 12, 2006

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