Fear of Being Uninsured and Unpublished

Wed 31 Aug 2016 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Here’s a short interview I did with the AWP Moveable Type blog:

How did Small Beer Press begin? What was the goal when starting the press?
I started a zine while I was temping in Boston. My then-girlfriend-now-wife, Kelly Link, started helping out with the second issue. Looking back, publishing chapbooks and the books seems so inevitable from that start. It didn’t feel that way then. The goal was to publish something that I wasn’t quite finding enough of in the world, writing that refracted back to the reader something of the true weirdness of the world, of us monkeys walking on our hind legs on our one little planet, worrying about health insurance and being alone in the universe.

What’s with the title of this post? In the UK (at least in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, not so much in Scotland) the government has been slashing the National Health Service budget. The results: not great.

Here in the US almost everyone I know lives in fear of getting sick because none of us know what our health insurance will cover and how much of a hit the final bills will be. I really hope the UK does not follow the US and switch to this disaster* of a health care system.

* Massachusetts is an exception and long may it continue!

MassHealth for Mass Health

Mon 30 Sep 2013 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 22 Comments| Posted by: Gavin


This is the first week since our daughter, Ursula, was born in February 2009 that we will not have any home nurses coming in to help look after. This is a huge milestone and I cannot resist writing about it. We are filled with all the glee of parents of a newborn coming home for the first time. Sure, it also means life is complicated, but, hey, we knew that when we signed up for this gig.

Ursula is a very healthy four-and-a-half-year-old. She is in preschool 4 days a week (for all of 2 hours 15 minutes a day!) and loves tumble tots at the YMCA.

She still sees various specialists and physical (and other) therapists but for the most part when you talk to her she is just a great, smart, healthy kid who loves books and chocolate. We are so lucky and so grateful.

The home nursing came from the mighty MassHealth, which of course then-Governor Romney signed into law and then “RomneyCare” was used as the basis for the new Affordable Health Care/”ObamaCare.” Let me tell you, having a kid in hospital and being able to change insurance companies without being penalized for all her pre-existing conditions was huge. If we were living in a different US state by now we would be bankrupt and maybe living in Ursula’s Nana’s basement—which, I have to say, is a lovely basement. So, from the bottom of our hearts for now and forever: Thanks to all the politicians, backroom folks, grassroots activists, and healthcare professionals for MassHealth. Thank you, thank you, thank you.