Oona Patrick earned an MFA from Bennington in nonfiction. Named for Eugene O’Neill’s estranged daughter, she grew up in Provincetown, Mass., and lives in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared most recently in The Puritan, Guernica, and Post Road, and she has had notable essay mentions in Best American Travel Writing and Best American Essays. After traveling to Portugal for the first time to seek out her roots in 2006, she began working with the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon, which is now going into its 5th year. DISQUIET also sparked a movement among its Luso (Portuguese) American alumni and friends called Presence/Presença, which aims to address the relative absence/invisibility of Luso voices in North American letters.
“And everyone knew everyone, and the bread hung from the doorknob of the stone house on the edge of the village, and the gardens overflowed. And the women wore their hair short and showed off their gold. And half an hour after I pronounced the old family name in the terminal, everyone on the island would be my cousin.”