Buckmaster launches ‘Space Heart’

Oct 25, 2018
Linda Buckmaster

Belfast — Local writer Linda Buckmaster will launch her hybrid memoir, “Space Heart. A Memoir in Stages” published by Orlando-based Burrow Press, at a publication party Sunday, Nov. 4, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Waterfall Arts, 256 High St.

Buckmaster will give a short reading and talk about how she came to write the book at 4 p.m. Pianist Tom Luther will play his own compositions of multi-sourced "space music." The public is invited.

Buckmaster’s book centers around events of 1962, one year after Alan B. Shepherd became the first American in outer space. That year, John Glenn orbited the earth three times; the first communications satellite, Telstar, was launched; and sea turtles once again came ashore as they had for millennia to lay their eggs on wild Florida beaches just miles from Cape Canaveral.

In the spirit of the go-go time and place, 1962 also was the year that 11-year-old Buckmaster became one of the first children to successfully undergo open-heart surgery using the recently perfected heart-lung machine and induced hypothermia.

Buckmaster, daughter of a rocket engineer, weaves into her story the juxtaposition of cutting-edge technology and the natural world on the empty barrier island that came to be called the Space Coast. That contrast was written on her own small body as surgeons worked to correct a congenital heart defect with materials developed for space flight.

Alternately lyrical and narrative, “Space Heart. A Memoir in Stages” is a hybrid literary treatment of early space exploration and personal story. Buckmaster has lived within a block of the Atlantic most of her life, growing up in Space Coast Florida during the 1950s and ‘60s; and being part of the back-to-the-land movement in Midcoast Maine in the ‘70s.

The former Belfast Poet Laureate’s poetry, essay and fiction have appeared in more than 30 journals and anthologies. Her essay, “Fallout,” was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize; and one of her pieces was listed as a Notable Essay in “Best American Essays 2013.” She has held writing residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Atlantic Center for the Arts and Obras Foundation, among others. She currently teaches community-based writing workshops to adults. For more information, visit lindabuckmaster.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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