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Anora Egan

Raleigh, North Carolina, United States


Born in Boston, Massachusetts. Grew up around the Mediterranean - Amman (Jordan), Port Said (Egypt), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Beirut (Lebanon), Jerusalem (Jerusalem), Rome (Italy), then Bethesda (Maryland, USA). Educated in American, International and French schools. Studied English, Italian, French, Arabic, Spanish, Latin and Mandarin Chinese. Now back to English - aware that the maps of our word meanings are all over. What was it I was doing speaking a foreign language, when talking in English is such a gamble!

Studied Chinese at university. Classical Chinese Poetry. The ancient Book of Songs. Then international business in graduate school, a field for which I was completely unprepared. Married Chinese. Had and have an amazing son, Jason. Divorced. Moved from Massachusetts, to Maryland and now to North Carolina. Work in the corporate world as an analyst, part technical writer, to pay the bills.

Writing? Started as a letter writer way young - as a diplomat's daughter (and granddaughter) moving was as natural as the seasons, though not as graceful. Lived on letters written to know my own experience. Lived on letters received to know connection and relationship. Everything changes. Be open, be friends, tomorrow, we'll both be gone, maybe to never see again, maybe to find a surprise in a business meeting, in an airport, at Harvard Square, on a cruise, or through friends at Elusive connections.

At twelve, smoking with the neighbor kids, my lungs burned so badly I thought I was going to die that night. How terrible to face my own death before sleeping -
believing I would not wake again. How long the minutes were I don't know, but then the thought arose, the belief, the feeling, whatever it was, that I was here to write - to tell of the journey in and out of cultures, countries and languages, friends, place and familiarity that had been my life - and I knew I wouldn't die - my work had not been completed.

Poetry in high school. Anomie. What else is new!? Then some readings in college. Publication eluded. Years in marriage where writing was merely journaling - writing
experiences that I could not reread, much less believe. Only some remote dream that one day I would have the courage to be free, because I had to write. That was what I was born for. To experience life, however painful, and tell about it, that others could have words for their experience, and windows through which to see themselves and their world.

Found a group of people who likewise had grown up overseas - global nomads, and through a writer among them was invited to write the story of my cross cultural marriage for SWAYING, an anthology. Wrote several essays for the Global Nomad International Quarterly. Wrote for my corporate newsletter. A few years later, invited to write the story of my internationally mobile childhood - early adulthood - especially the asian aspects. That for Unrooted Childhoods, an anthology published by Intercultural Press.

Now - time at last. The studio space I sought for years. The confines of marriage over a decade behind me. Now what. Poetry? Mine was confessional - so they call it. Slammed a decade ago by a writer I shared it with. Not sure it is worth the risk - poetry for art, for perfect phrasing and imagery, I don't seek to be the greatest, the Rumis, Elliots, the Keats, the Olivers. Poetry for expression - for sharing of the heart. Is there such thing as folk poetry? Essays - I have the names, the book titles, outlines, numerous draft essays. Two auto-biographical books to write, with outlines prepared. And more, half a dozen more.

Now the question. To write or share live. To document thoughts and experiences or talk about them. To dare to share the exotic fabric of words, feelings, sounds, and insights that arise out of this strange rootless life. To work with others that they may write. To want the knowing that comes from opening the stream into pen or keyboard.
These are my questions. The answer surely is to do both.

" And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”"

TS Elliot

Interests: memoirs, non-fiction essays about contemporary life, spiritual reflections

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: Yes


Published works:


  • An essay in - SWAYING Essays on Intercultural Love
  • "And where did you say you went to school?"
  • An essay in - Unrooted Childhoods: Memoirs of Growing Up Global
  • "A Toast to the Future" Essay in Notes from a Traveling Childhood
  • "A Change of Heart" in PanGaia