Portland, Maine

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Michelle Souliere

Making a living from curiosity.

Job Used bookshop owner, author, artist, editor / Green Hand Bookshop

Lives In South Portland

Michelle Souliere is an artist/illustrator, and is the editor of the Strange Maine Gazette and its companion blog, which she founded in 2005. In 2010 she wrote and illustrated her first book, Strange Maine: True Tales from the Pine Tree State. She is a graduate of the Maine College of Art.

In 2009 she founded the Green Hand Bookshop here in Portland, which establishment has been her main focus ever since. The Green Hand is a general used bookshop whose contents are curated by Michelle to encourage curiosity. The shop also serves as a nexus for folks in the Longfellow Square neighborhood, at a location that connects Portland's West End, Parkside, and Arts District neighborhoods. The Green Hand is peopled with many books, and Michelle herself.

In the past, she has enjoyed working at Portland Public Library and other local public service establishments, and volunteering at the Maine Historical Society. She is a former longtime resident of the West End and Parkside neighborhoods, and once even lived on the East End (which she liked very, very much). She is in temporary exile in South Portland, and looks forward to returning to the peninsula.

She has a deep love for Portland, and Maine in general, and has a hard time imagining herself living anywhere else. Both city and state provide her with an inspiring backdrop and foundation on which to build her creative work.

Where's your "happy place" on the peninsula? The East End walking trails are my favorite spot. I live to have the ocean beside me.

What's your favorite indulgence and where do you find it? Coffee! Good food! Books! Portlanders are spoiled -- the city is packed with places to get delicious food and great coffee, and an assortment of terrific bookshops to browse for material to read while enjoying whatever tasty treats you find. A day off spent indulging these vices is a good one for me.

What's the most under-appreciated place or thing in town? The walkability of the downtown area. Phenomenal! It's one of the things I miss most.

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