Melody Rose Paul, a writer whose work deals with battling addiction, will present readings from her books at an Eastport Arts Center event on Saturday, November 18, 6-8 pm. This free event is open to all, and is supported by a Maine Community Foundation Community Building Grant.

Paul began her writing career five years ago, while in jail for drug trafficking. She credits her first book, Savaged to Wellness: A Memoir, with showing her how to begin her life anew. 

Paul grew up in Nova Scotia on the Eskasoni First Nation, the largest Micmac reservation in the world. Her parents were both gamblers and would often leave her to care for the younger children in the household. Life was hard, she admits now.

At 17, she left to head to the blueberry barrens of Maine where she hoped to get a new start. While she did find work as a raker, Paul was often homeless or lived in shelters. To help her deal with the difficulties in her life, Paul turned to alcohol. 

“At first I didn’t realize I had a problem,” she says. She gave birth to a son but later lost custody of him. “That’s when things escalated.”

Paul then got into another relationship with a man who told her he was sober. He wasn’t and instead introduced Paul to both heroin and cocaine. The pair were arrested when they supplied drugs to the man’s sister, who later died of an overdose. She received a year’s prison sentence and while behind bars began looking for help.

While working toward her GED, Paul also enrolled in recovery classes and joined others in Bible study. But her personal writing efforts proved the most profound tool in her healing.

“I just wanted to show people what had happened to me. Nobody understood how this could happen to someone. I tried to write a story so they’d understand.”

Since her first book was published, Paul has written Walking the Recovery Road: The Steps Taken, as well as a children’s book. She is at work on a book dealing with grief. Paul also runs 22 groups with the Wellbriety Movement, a national recovery and wellness program for Native Americans that is based on Native teachings. Three of the groups that she leads are within Maine prisons.

Paul’s work will be available for purchase prior to the event at Raye’s Mustard, 54 Water Street in Eastport.

Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and at www.eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible. EAC abides by the State of Maine CDC COVID guidelines, revisiting our policy monthly. At this time, the use of masks in our building is optional.