March 18, 2018

Dear Senator Susan Collins,

Many of your colleagues who have enriched & emboldened djt—with the so-called tax reform bill, among other things— are now silent on his self-interested attempts to undermine our system of govt. This silence extends to his appalling lack of respect for what it means to build an honorable career or how to end one. As one who votes in Maine, I’m sorry to say, your silence is equally deafening.

Your Twitter posts celebrate the Merchant Marine and the Girl Scouts, and speak of attempts to improve HC for Maine seniors. That’s all fine. But we are living through dark times as a nation in the face of events that should outrage EVERY American. WHERE IS YOUR OUTRAGE, Senator Collins? We need it NOW on a number of issues. Here’s a short list:

1. SPEAK OUT against the insulting way in which the Secretary of State Tillerson was fired.
2. ASK TOUGH QUESTIONS at the upcoming hearings re: CIA and Dept of State leaders.
3. SPEAK OUT against the politically motivated firing of federal employee Andrew McCabe.
4. STAND UP and support Robert Mueller and the Special Investigation of Russian interference into the 2016 election … wherever it may lead, however long it takes.
5. REPEAT OFTEN on the floor of the senate: “No one is above the law in the USA.”
6. SUPPORT Senator Jeff Flake’s bill to nullify Trump Admin tariffs on steel and aluminum.
7. VOCALLY OPPOSE Ivanka Trump’s announced presence at the meeting of the POTUS and Kim Jong-un of NK on the grounds that she has neither the skills nor the credibility to represent our country at this sensitive historic moment.
8. DEMAND RESPECT for women who have proven themselves in the art of governance.
9. REACH ACROSS THE AISLE to make gun safety a national priority.
10. LISTEN to voices from other countries who have lost confidence in the USA and consider the current isolationist administration a danger to the world.

Looking forward to your reply,
Patti M. Marxsen

Offshoots 14, the biennial literary journal of the Geneva Writers' Group (GWG) for which I served as editor-in-chief, was my publishing priority of 2017. What a privilege to work with 40+ writers from more than a dozen countries on this beautiful edition. My chosen theme of "Fragile States" was made visible with photographs by Alistair Scott and artful design work by Sue Niewiarowski. Offshoots 14 is available at Payot (Geneva), BooksBooksBooks (Lausanne), and at GWG workshops and events. (Cover image below.)

HELENE SCHWEITZER: A LIFE OF HER OWN was published in April of 2015 by Syracuse University Press. This is the first biography in English about the remarkable woman who was the co-founder and lifelong supporter of the Schweitzer Hospital in Lambarene, Gabon, French Equatorial Africa. She was also a pioneer of social work, registered nurse, and indispensable editorial assistant in the writings of her husband, Dr. Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965). "On Writing the Life of Helene Schweitzer" is a companion essay to this book with resources for BOOK CLUBS. (Kindle Edition Only.)

The first-ever English translation of "Chant de Notre Rhone" by C. F. Ramuz (1878-1947) appeared in a bilingual edition from Onesuch Press in 2015. This prose poem, originally published in 1920, is an artful ode to the land and the people living along the Rhone River as it winds through Switzerland and France into the Mediterranean Sea. Foreword by Susan Tiberghien.

TO ORDER HELENE SCHWEITZER or RIVERSONG OF THE RHONE please contact your preferred bookseller.


My biography of Jacques Roumain has been accepted for publication by Caribbean Studies Press. Most likely, "Jacques Roumain of Haiti: A Life of Resistance," will be published early in 2019.

"'La Tragédie haitienne' by Jacques Roumain: Translation with Commentary by Patti M. Marxsen" was published in the Fall 2018 edition of the Journal of Haitian Studies. This article, originally published in Paris in 1937, addressed the "Parsley Massacre" perpetrated by Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic that slaughtered 10,000 Haitians.

"Citizenship as Paradox in the Life of Jacques Roumain (1907-1944)." Paper delivered at the November 2017 annual conference of the Haitian Studies Association in New Orleans/Metarie, Louisiana.

"Jacques Roumain & Langston Hughes: A Haitian-American Friendship," unpublished paper presented at the 2016 Caribbean Studies Association Conference, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

"Listen to My Clamor: Jacques Roumain's 'Call to Arms'" in the Journal of Haitian Studies Special Issue on the American Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934 edited by Patrick Bellegarde-Smith (Fall 2015)

"A Taste of Immortality: The Post-Earthquake Haitian Novel" in The Critical Flame (Nov/Dec 2015). Read it here:

"Helene Schweitzer: A Life of Her Own" appeared in spring 2015 from Syracuse University Press. Please see the BOOK TALK page of this website for further info and endorsements.
A companion to "Helene Schweitzer: A Life of Her Own," this essay speaks to readers and writers as it reflects on the author's journey and engages readers in the process of interpreting a little-known life. Kindle Edition Only.

What a privilege to have been the first to bring this poetic "ode" to the Rhone by Swiss writer C.F. Ramuz into English. As the author said, "I sing here of the soul of a river, and this soul never dies."
OFFSHOOTS 14 - WRITING FROM GENEVA, the biennial literary journal of the Geneva Writers' Group (2017) for which I was pleased to serve as editor-in-chief. Theme: Fragile States.

This collection of short stories set in Haiti explores the "outsider's lens" we often bring to Haitian culture. Published by Educa Vision in 2010 after being shortlisted for the Paris Prize for Fiction.
High School and/or College Level teachers will find useful tools in this Teacher's Guide to inspire discussions of cultural differences and moral dilemmas that arise in my story collection, Tales from the Heart of Haiti.

Seven essays on islands with French connections focus on the culture, history, and one woman's experience of travel amidst "floating worlds." This book was a finalist in the Writers' League of Texas Nonfiction Book Awards (2009). Available in print or Kindle editions.
These essays go beneath the surface of life in Switzerland as they combine culture, history, and personal experience. The 2nd Edition includes "Gateau de Payerne," winner of the Geneva Writers Non-Fiction Literary Award in 2013.

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