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ID: Elizabeth MacDuffie



Thursday, August 06, 2015
Elizabeth MacDuffie is a founding editor of Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, a two-time Annual New England Book Show-winning arts and literary journal published in western Massachusetts. With the publication of each issue of the quarterly review, she produces a celebratory multi-media event she calls a cirque. MacDuffie is a member of the literary subcommittee of Easthampton City Arts in Easthampton, where she works and lives with her husband, Mark Alan Miller, a chief engineer and co-owner of Sonelab, where the cirques are held. She says she delights in her three small grandchildren and her three grown children.



Full name: Elizabeth Jane MacDuffie

People know you as: I don’t do nicknames, though in grad school I was called Lady MacDuff and I liked that well enough.

Date and place of birth: Oct. 9, 1962, in Groton

Job: Editor-in-chief of Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, and impresario of the cirques at Sonelab and The Abandoned Building Brewery, both in Easthampton

Who lives under the same roof as you? My husband and, on alternate weekends, his 8-year-old son, Sebastian

Children: John Paul MacDuffie-Woodburn, Madeleine Augustine Darling, Erin Alexandra Hamann

Education: Bachelor’s degree in English and visual arts, with a minor in German, Dickinson State University, Dickinson, North Dakota, 1993; master’s degree in English with a concentration in composition- rhetoric and sub-specialization in British Tudor and Jacobean Literature, Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minnesota, 1997; doctorate — coursework completed, but I am ABD (all but dissertation), with a concentration in composition-rhetoric, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Pets: My African violet, terrarium, lemon tree sprouts and other plants. I am profoundly allergic to animal dander.

Hobbies: Gourmet cooking, yoga, Pilates, dance and building a vast library of albums and books with my husband

Book you’d recommend to a friend: “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. Everyone should read this.

Favorite movie/TV show/band: Must I pick only one? Movie — “Grey Gardens” by the Maysles Brothers; TV show — “Ripper Street” (the writing is exquisite): band — Jeff and Jane Hudson

Five things you can’t live without: Oxygen, water, food, Advair, my loved ones

Last thing you purchased just for fun: Two new dresses from the June dress sale at Faces in Northampton

What’s at the top of your bucket list? To live anther 50 years

Life-changing experience: The day Alexandra Wagman suggested she and I start a literary magazine

Strangest job you ever held: Galley chef on a sport-fishing yacht in San Diego, California

Your current Facebook status: On the Meat for Tea Facebook page, www.facebook.com/meatfortea, cool photos from the June 6 cirque, taken by Richard Bulda

A little-known fact about you: John Lurie enlisted me to help prank the audience for the Q&A part of the “Fishing with John” screening at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Somerville a couple of years ago.

Dumbest thing you ever did: Remain in an abusive relationship far longer than I should have done

One trend you’d like to see return: Children playing outdoor games like Red Rover, Mother May I, and Four Square

What really sets you off? Gossip

If you could spend the day with a celebrity from any time in history, who would it be? Margaret Atwood. I adore her writing and strongly suspect she’d be a delightful, witty conversationalist.

Worst advice you ever got: Not to focus on doing what I love, but rather to focus on the paycheck. This person had it backwards.

Favorite place to get a bite: Oh my, I guess I’d have to select The Lumberyard because of the quail eggs.

Favorite athlete? Russian/American ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. In my estimation, dancers are the athletes who work the hardest.

What does your ideal weekend look like? Sleep in, wake up to a spotless house, have all my children and my three grandchildren over for a brunch of Belgian waffles, and later roll up my sleeves and tackle a complicated dinner recipe

One thing you would change about yourself: It would be great to have more energy.

What gives you the creeps? NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association). Must I explain why?

People who knew you in high school thought you were: Socially leprous

Whom do you most admire? Debra Tautznik. She was a beacon of light and creativity taken far too young from this world. She strove to create something every day, a truly inspiring woman.

Parting shot: Be kind to one another and do not talk behind each other’s backs.



— Compiled by Brenda Nelson

To suggest someone for ID, send an email to bnelson@gazettenet.com.