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Patti Claflin

Patti Claflin pic

Patti Claflin

Legal Outreach Chair



Nantucket , Massachusetts,


I was born and raised in Tulsa Oklahoma. I took a college summer job on Nantucket Island and from that first day, I vowed to make Nantucket my home. I was instantly attracted to this beautiful Island by its historic and very evident sense of community that I had not experienced in my suburban childhood in Tulsa. I also realized that women were always valued as community leaders and business owners.

After graduating from college having majored in political science and art, I spent a year backpacking throughout Europe, North Africa and Israel, I moved to Nantucket year round. I supported myself by waitressing, commercial fishing, and doing all sorts of odd jobs. A dream of running an independent literary bookstore on Nantucket was spawned during my travels. The Nantucket Bookworks materialized in the summer of 1972. After a few years I met and married a passionate bookstore customer and we had a Son in 1981. When he was 4 we established in our home an independent school with an opening enrollment of 6 children. The Nantucket New School grew quickly as an alternative to the public school while I was the Head of the Board. The school was able to establish a strong relationship to the community by creating an open and diverse school that championed an exceptional educational system that included financial aid for many Island residents. Now in its 32nd year the Nantucket New School has an enrollment of over 150 students with grades from preschool through grade 8. My husband and I eventually opened a second bookstore and cafe in Vermont. During this period I became a Board Member of the New England Booksellers Association. The focus of our Board work was to get all regional independent bookstores to work together to build profitable stores by using their collective strengths in their communities. I eventually sold the stores and retired. Since then my passions are gardening and making pottery.

I also now have time to rethink my previous interests in women’s economic justice and woman’s health. The importance to me of these woman’s issues come from my long connection to mothers seeking literature about Pregnancy and Childbirth at the bookstores and from my many conversation with women at the Nantucket New School. I became aware that many of these women were dealing with unnamed psychological issues surrounding birth. And as a disseminator of educational material through my bookstores, I now realize how important that the message about Postpartum Anxiety and Depression is for everyone. I am happy to join the Board of Postpartum Support International to help them advance their work.

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