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Patricia McMahon


Patricia McMahon, a poet and the author of fourteen books for children, is the director of the Moss Wood Retreats. Her varied work includes non-fiction, picture books, and a middle grade mystery series.

Her award winning non-fiction titles include One Belfast BoyListen for the Bus, Chi-Hoon, and Dancing Wheels. Individual titles have been recognized by IBBY, the International Board of Books for Young, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Rhode Island and Georgia State awards.

Her writing has been called “powerful and provocative,” as well as “unique and side-splitting hilarious.”  She believes in the union of the light-hearted and the substantive, and refuses to believe the two cannot be wed.

A  committed traveler, Patricia has lived on four continents, making her home in settings ranging from densely crowded cities, to isolated small towns, and the world’s largest construction site.  She has worked as a children’s bookseller, in children’s publishing at Little, Brown and Company, and is a past-president of The Foundation for Children’s Books (now called Wondermore).  For many years she has taught creative writing to children in schools, libraries and other settings all over the world.

She currently lives with her family in Houston, Texas.  For many years, for some part of every year, she has escaped to the peace and quiet beauty of Cape Rosier.


Conor McCarthy

Assistant Director

Conor McCarthy’s first visit to Cape Rosier predates his own memory; he continues to travel annually Down East for inspiration.  He prefers, whenever possible, to be water-bound upon Penobscot Bay. 

Among other responsibilities, he manages Moss Wood's digital portfolio.  He has worked as an editor on fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction lists, and as a program coordinator for the Special Olympics.

Conor is an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated in English and Irish Studies, and to which he returned for his postgraduate-level work.  He served as the program chair for the university’s literary festival, and as the young alumni representative on Notre Dame’s Ireland Advisory Council.  He increasingly believes that an essential question faced by writers in the present moment is how their art helps us to be better stewards, students, and friends of the earth.