Paula Marie Coomer
Paula Coomer began life in Louisville, Kentucky, and lived most of her childhood in the industrial Ohio River town of New Albany, Indiana, dreaming of New York City and the glamour of the creative—art, literature, the theatre. A vision gleaned from the pages of magazines and catalogs.
What she chose instead was a Westward-bound, vagabond life with an ex-heroin-addict-turned-Jesus-freak and a life of part-time jobs, shacks and tents, and rootlessness until, in her early 20s, she began craving an education and made her way to a community college in Oregon where she was promptly interrupted by a charming man who gave her two equally charming offspring. It took nearly 20 more years, a second divorce, and a career in nursing before all the built-up stories began making their way to the page.
Those stories in the form of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction have appeared in many journals, anthologies, and publications, including Gargoyle, Knock, and the acclaimed Northwest Edge series from Portland’s Chiasmus Press.
Ms. Coomer has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and was the 2006 Writer-in-Residence for Fishtrap, Oregon’s much-loved advocacy program for literature in the West. Her books include the short story collection Summer of Government Cheese (2007), the poetry collection Devil at the Crossroads (2006), and Road, a single-poem chapbook (2006). Her first novel, Dove Creek, which aired early in 2009 over radio station KRFP (92.5) in Moscow, Idaho, has enjoyed a following as a downloadable audio book and was placed into syndication for independent radio. A rebroadcast began airing June 12, 2013 and at 7:30 p.m. and can be heard online at www.radiofreemoscow.org.
Dove Creek was published by Booktrope in 2010 and was a featured title at the 2011 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Fall Tradeshow. Summer of Government Cheese was re-released by Booktrope in 2011.
A second book of poems, Nurses Who Love English, was released in March, 2013, from Stephen F. Austin University Press.
Her first non-fiction effort, Blue Moon Vegetarian, has been accepted for publication by Booktrope and was released in 2013.