Sailing at the Edge of Disaster | Elizabeth W. Garber


Sailing at the Edge of Disaster: A Memoir of a Young Woman’s Daring Year, is the story of how a bookish teen and her younger brother are sent by their dominating father to “shape up” on a sail training school ship, where they discover the rigors, joys, and triumphs of being at sea. As they scour the decks, learn to splice ratlines, and climb the rigging, they also survive an act of piracy, a near-sinking, and being held hostage by armed gun boats. The book chronicles a transformative year in the throes of late adolescence that leads to courage, grace, and a reclamation of selfhood.

5.5″ x 8.5″ Softcover book
300+ pages
Published: September 2022

This item is located at the Center for Maine Craft in West Gardiner.

6 in stock

Laura Bonazzoli
Toad Hall Editions

“When I left home at eighteen and lived on a sailing ship, my desire to write was unleashed. I had a big journal, an incredible story, lots of people to observe, and I often filled ten pages a day. Afterwards I became an archivist, keeping journals, letters, and photo albums of each era of my life, little knowing what a resource this would be for writing a memoir decades later.

Over the next thirty years, reading and writing poetry nourished my spirit and gave me a creative outlet in the midst of practicing Acupuncture, marriage and raising two children, and living in a creative community in Maine. When I completed a collection of poems, I created small booklets to share with friends and family, and I began to read at poetry readings.

In 2006, I was named the Poet Laureate of Belfast, Maine. I coordinated community poetry readings, wrote a weekly newspaper column highlighting Maine poets, and co-organized the Belfast Poetry Festival for several years. I co-directed teams of poets and artists to collaborate for the Belfast Poetry and Art Walk for seven years.

Working on an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction at Stonecoast, my skillful teachers challenged and encouraged me to go deeper into my past. I was awarded writing fellowships at Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Jentel Artist Residency Program on a cattle ranch in Wyoming, and Art Week on Great Spruce Head Island, Maine.  After that, painter and writer friends and I created our own artist residencies on islands.”

Shipping Measurements

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 1 in