In 1962 as John Glenn orbits the earth and sea turtles lay their eggs as they have for millennia on wild Florida beaches just miles from Cape Canaveral eleven-year-old Linda Buckmaster becomes one of the first children to successfully undergo open-heart surgery. Encountering more of a problem than they anticipated surgeons improvise a solution using Teflon a material developed for the space industry.
Through the eyes of an alcoholic rocket engineer's daughter Space Heart paints a picture of an era of endless optimism and television cowboys amid the looming Soviet threat. Combining prose poems narrative memoir and history Buckmaster juxtaposes the natural world of Space Coast Florida in the 1950s and 60s with the cutting-edge technology of the early days of the space race.
As a young adult Buckmaster emerges from this landscape in search of independence road-tripping like the Beats finding herself at Woodstock and eventually settling in Maine as part of the "Back to the Land" movement.
In the final stage of the memoir Buckmaster returns to the Space Coast with her troubled brother to explore the remnants of an industry in transition and to reckon with the memory of her father.
Linda Buckmaster has lived within a block of the Atlantic most of her life. Born in Miami she grew up in Space Coast Florida and has been in Midcoast Maine for four decades. Former Poet Laureate of her small town of Belfast Maine her poetry essay and fiction have appeared in over thirty journals. One of her essays was a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2013. She has been awarded writing residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts Vermont Studios Center Kezar Lake Maine Landfall Trust in Newfoundland and Obras Foundation in Portugal.
"A wonderful juxtaposition of science and sentiment."&ndashBeth Laura O'Leary author of Handbook of Space Engineering Archaeology & Heritage
"Plainspoken personal poetic and precise in scientific and technical detail." &ndashJoel Lipmann