Published November 11, 2020 by Bowdoin News

Luna Soley ’22 and her “Priceless Summer on a Maine Lobster Boat” in Outside Magazine

Luna Soley ‘22 had a story to tell—and the skills to tell it beautifully. She had spent the summer living alone on a tiny island off the Down East coast of Maine and working on a lobster boat for one of the area’s few female captains. 
Luna Soley '22
Luna Soley '22

An English major with a love for writing, Soley turned her reflections on the loneliness she felt, the hard work she endured, and the natural beauty that surrounded her into an essay that she submitted to Outside magazine.

An excerpt:

I’m home now, and summer is waning, a good book I read and reread and dread reaching the end. Texts from friends: “I got this teapot for the house”, “Jill can we drive to your place and go apple-picking?My uncle’s visiting, wants to know about lobstering. I should tell him I’m not afraid anymore. I learned the heft of my heart with the weight of the trap, and I carried that load alone. I want to say that loneliness is better in the morning than a cup of coffee. That it wakes you, makes everything after sweet. That for now, I’ve leveled my debt. But I don’t. “When I think about it,” I tell him, “there’s one day I remember.”

“I've been a magazine writer and editor for forty years, and I don't recall ever having published an unsolicited piece by a college student,” says Alex Heard, editorial director at Outside. “I think Luna is going to grow into a writer who makes a mark. She is special.”

"Writing for me is like wringing the dish towel out," Soley says. "I get that much more from my life. I wrote this because when I got home at the end of the summer, my uncle, a journalist, said it would be a good story."

Soley, who is from Peaks Island, Maine, a twenty-minute ferry ride from Portland, is contemplating pursuing a minor in film. She says her favorite class right now is Professor Marlyn Reizbaum's Modernism and Modernity. 

"Getting published is like saying the way I look at the world has value to other people, that being me can be constructive in some way," Soley says. "As someone who's never felt good at useful things, it's a huge vote of confidence." 

Read “My Priceless Summer on a Maine Lobster Boat” by Luna Soley ’22 in Outside.