(Portland Press Herald featured obituary)
(A Special Message from MWPA Board President, Sibyl Masquelier follows:)
It is with a heavy heart I inform MWPA members and friends of the death of MPWA board member and poet Michael Macklin.
This past weekend, Michael had once again chaperoned a posse of young writers from the Waynflete School
to attend the New England Young Writers Conference at the Bread Loaf campus of Middlebury College. On
Saturday night, Michael passed away unexpectedly in his sleep.
Michael Macklin was one of the most generous men I have ever met in my life. He has worked for years with
the Cafe Review. He worked tirelessly with young writers. His own accomplishments are so numerous I will
have to organize myself to present those at the 2012 Maine Literary Awards later this month.
As many of you know, I was disabled in an accident. No matter what, Michael would always wait for me after
board meetings and walk me to my car so I would not slip on the ice. At an MWPA writing retreat a couple
of year´s ago in East Boothbay, he had finished his duties and was ready to go home when I asked him to read
the only poem I ever wrote. The poem was based on the feeling I had of re-entering my ex-husband´s life when
I saw his disintegration from Alzheimer's. Michael sat with me for two hours that day, workshopping the poem,
allowing me to weep, making suggestions, and comforting me.
The project of Michael's that always made me smile was his efforts with poetry and the Portland Police
Department. Michael, Betsy Sholl, and several other Maine poets rode with and mentored Portland Police in
the craft of poetry as they went about their duties. The poets worked with the officers as they expressed
their feelings about dealing with victims, criminals, and the circumstances of their work. The published pieces
were some of the most poignant unabashed displays of talent and compassion Maine has seen.
It has been my pleasure to know and work with Michael for six years. Michael died doing what he loved:
helping young people to develop as writers.
We love you, Michael. You were an original. Our loss is great.