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Susie O’Keeffe joins NWT Board of Directors

Susie O’Keeffe has joined the Northeast Wilderness Trust Board of Directors. Susie serves as a Research Associate at the College of the Atlantic, (COA) in Bar Harbor, Maine where she explores the ways in which poetic imagination can be developed and applied as a valid form of inquiry in the field. Entitled The Art of Reciprocity, her work investigates how awareness of our indivisibility with all members of the larger life community is deepened through unique, individual experiences. The Art of Reciprocity builds on four areas: the commitment to exploring one’s inner world, the practice of deep attention, and the development of creative perception and expression through deep connection with, and affection for, one’s subject of study.

Susie’s first body of work, entitled: The Art of Reciprocity: Rekindling the Exchange of Wild Affection, is a text-based performance that combines images, music and sounds from the field with a story in poetry and prose. This piece builds on a month of solitary contemplation on Admiralty Island in Southeast Alaska.

She recently completed a field practice as an Artist in Residency with the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire and the Forest Service. This practice took place in New Hampshire’s Wild River Wilderness, and is part of a larger effort to explore stories of rewilding in the Northeast. For the coming years Susie will be investigating the restoration of rivers and wild Atlantic salmon in Maine and Canada.

Susie holds a Master’s of Science with distinction in Environmental Management from Oxford University, England. Fluent in French, Susie’s professional experience ranges from comprehensive environmental policy to program creation and direction in the fields of local, organic agriculture and wildlife conservation. Previously Susie worked with a variety of environmental organizations including the Resource Renewal Institute, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners, and Maine Farmland Trust. Her writing has appeared in Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture, Phylogeny, the Spoon River Poetry Review, and The Maine Review. In addition to writing poetry and teaching, Susie is an amateur photographer and gardener.

She also directs the Anam Cara Forage Forest project, an effort to create a common forage forest where people gather free food, herbs, and medicine growing in a semi-wild or fully wild state.

Susie’s commitment to wilderness and her understanding of the ways we connect with it will be a huge boon to Northeast Wilderness Trust. We are happy to welcome her aboard!

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