The Backstory


Robin McLean grew up with three sisters in Peoria, Illinois, where the long, hot, dull days of summer left plenty of time for overactive imaginations. By the age of ten, she was writing a poem a day, recording colorful stories with her sisters into their father's tape recorder late at night, and completing a self-declared masterpiece about her mother, entitled “The Bear,” after being sent to her room for bad behavior.

Being a “real writer,” however, would take several decades, a few career changes, and more than one leap of faith. Robin graduated from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts with interest in writing and law. With the thought of a consistent paycheck in mind, she chose law. Robin launched her life as a lawyer in Alaska and soon discovered a new passion, pottery. Within two years, she left her job as a lawyer and launched Little Granite Creek Pottery. Working out of her home in the Matanuska Valley, Robin’s backyard was 800 miles of wilderness. For 13 years, Robin produced hand-thrown plates, bowls, cups, and pitchers for galleries, shows, and fairs, while learning every turn in the trails through the woods and mountains around her home.

Twenty years after leaving for law school, Robin arrived back in Massachusetts to return to her writing and earn her MFA at UMass Amherst. She currently teaches writing at Clark University and divides her time between Newfound Lake in Bristol, NH and western Massachusetts where she hikes the nearby hills with her dog, Pearl.

She blogs at Fish Obituaries.