More about eva...

The announcement on the desk of the Boys & Girls Library said "Drama Club forming…." Though I was only eight years old and had no idea what it meant, I was instantly excited by that word "drama," and knew that I had to be in that club. So began my earliest passion: live theatre. In the dusty basement of that library, I became Aladdin, Cinderella, the Miller of Dee in Rumpelstitltskin’s village.

By age nine, my friend, Frankie, and I were writing and performing skits for our classmates, and for the next eight years we threw our little bodies and psyches into creating and performing in school and community plays in our hometown, Kenosha, Wisconsin. After high school, he went to Northwestern to major in Theatre Arts, and I went off to the University of Wisconsin’s Speech Department (no actual Theatre Department then, or it would have been first choice). We were both 25 before we realized and acknowledged that the stage had so utterly and so early enchanted us because its beauty contrasted and covered the terror and sorrow we lived in at home: alcoholism, mental illness, and variations of abuse.

By my third year at University, I scored acceptance and scholarship to study at Aix-en-Provence. By then I’d published in a little journal in Madison and considered myself a writer of fiction. The director of the Aix program, however, coaxed me to Independent Study of French poetry & poets. I came back from France with an easy major in French, and spent the most exciting parts of my senior year in creative writing classes. All I wanted to do was write. I continued into the Comparative Lit Department and completed an M.A. The year I turned 29, I completed a novel that served as the thesis for my second Masters degree, Creative Writing, from the Instituto Allende, University of Guanajuato, Mexico.

*No matter what work-work I’ve done, my entire adult “career” has invariably floated along on an undercurrent of passion for the drama of words: the drama in poetry, the poetry in drama. My intent in all I write is to make the mind of the reader or viewer spin mentally and imaginatively toward and through layers of images, feelings, meanings. I have been in love with words since before kindergarten when my mother taught me to read and write simple ones. I mean, in love. I love the very curves and bends and serifs on the page. I love the sounds of all the vowels and all the consonants and how you can pronounce them in diverse ways to tickle the brain of the listener into the subtle, dappled shadows of mood.

In Who’s Lying Down in Your Heart? the undercurrent of passion has finally billowed up, bellied up, bucked up like a living, enormous, never-more-to-be-ignored sea creature of the depths. The Secrecy Edict from my wounded childhood had tortured my writing into a cage of submission—smothered it, chained it in tow, water-boarded it—until now. But now what I learned and how I survived that land of whispers has crested, and cries out. Now the fireheart in the wave has burned through and into the power of saying what it knows, what it knows can salve and, yes, perhaps, help give speech to others long emotionally mute.