Anne-Marie Oomen co-authored Lake Michigan Mermaid: A Tale in Poems (with poet Linda Nemec Foster), a Michigan Notable Book, 2019. She wrote Love, Sex and 4-H, (Next Generation Indie Award for memoir); Pulling Down the Barn, and House of Fields, (Michigan Notable Books); An American Map: Essays, and a full-length collection of poetry, Uncoded Woman (Milkweed Editions). She edited Elemental, A Collection of Michigan Nonfiction (Michigan Notable Book, 2019), and Looking Over My Shoulder: Reflections on the Twentieth Century. She has written seven plays, including award-winning Northern Belles (inspired by oral histories of women farmers), and Secrets of Luuce Talk Tavern, 2012 winner of the CTAM contest. She adapted the meditations of Gwen Frostic for Chaotic Harmony, a choreopoem. She is founding editor of Dunes Review, former president of Michigan Writers, Inc., instructor at the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing at Pine Manor College, MA; Interlochen College of Creative Arts; and appears at conferences throughout the country. She and her husband, David Early, built their home near Empire, Michigan. www.anne-marieoomen.com
The Lake Michigan Mermaid
The Lake Michigan Mermaid is a new tale that feels familiar. The breeze off the lake, the sand underfoot, the supreme sadness of being young and not in control—these sensations come rushing back page by page, bringing to life an ancient myth of coming of age in a troubled world. Freed from the minds of Linda Nemec Foster and Anne-Marie Oomen, the Lake Michigan mermaid serves as a voice of reason for when we’re caught in the riptide.
This is a gripping tale in poems of a young girl’s desperate search for guidance in a world turned upside down by family and economic upheaval. Raised in a ramshackle cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan, Lykretia takes refuge in her beloved lake in the face of her grandmother’s illness and her mother’s eager attempts to sell their home following her recent divorce. One day Lykretia spots a creature in the water, something beautiful and inexplicable. Is it the mythical Lake Michigan mermaid, or an embodiment of the stories her grandmother told as dementia ravaged her mind? Thus begins a telepathic conversation between a lost young girl and Phyliadellacia, the mermaid who saves her in more ways than one.
Accompanied by haunting illustrations, The Lake Michigan Mermaid offers a tender tale of friendship, redemption, and the life-giving power of water. As it explores family relationships and generational bonds, this book is an unforgettable experience that aims to connect readers of all ages.