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Reflections Inn Writer-in-Residence Paula Marie Coomer

Writer-in-residence programs are designed to provide time and space away from the writer's usual environment and obligations for the sake of producing a body of work. This period may be spent in reflection, composing and/or editing, researching, and usually includes a commitment to the retreat site's greater community in the form of presentations, readings, or workshops.

Reflections Inn is pleased to announce the establishment of a one-of-a-kind writer-in-residence program featuring poet, novelist, essayist, and cookbook author Paula Marie Coomer. The program here at Reflections Inn is different from most in that it is a year-round series of retreats and workshops designed and coordinated by Ms. Coomer. Rather than living at the Inn for a month or two and offering a few community events, she will come to the Inn on a periodic basis to facilitate, counsel, and guide authors at all stages of their writing careers. It is her goal to bring accomplished poets and writers to the Inn to share their wealth of expertise and to promote cultural exchange.

Paula Marie Coomer, daughter of two hundred years of Appalachian mountain folk, began life in Louisville, Kentucky, and lived most of her childhood in the industrial Ohio River town of New Albany, Indiana. Her fiction, poetry, and non-fiction have appeared in many journals, anthologies, and publications. A former long-time instructor of English at Washington State University, Ms. Coomer also worked to create public health programs for the Indian Health Service and was commissioned as an officer of the U.S. Public Health Service, resigning in 1995 to focus on writing.

Ms. Coomer holds a BSN in Nursing from Oregon Health Sciences University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Idaho. Her books include the short story collection Summer of Government Cheese, poetry collections Devil at the Crossroads and Nurses Who Love English, and two well-received novels - Dove Creek and Jagged Edge of the Sky. Jagged Edge of the Sky is a nominee for the Pulitzer Prize, among other prizes.

Her first food-focused non-fiction effort, Blue Moon Vegetarian, was followed by a cookbook, Blue Moon Vegan. Also forthcoming in the Blue Moon Series are Blue Moon Medicine Woman and Blue Moon Folkways in the Kitchen.

Ms. Coomer lives near the mouth of Hells Canyon in Clarkston, Washington. She has completed a third novel and is at work on a new collection of short stories.