This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview with Marianne Bullock was conducted at the Salt Institute in Portland Maine on June 6, 2023 as part of Oral History Summer School. Marianne begins by describing a family vacation where she secretly placed a shark tooth for her son Quill to find on the beach and the guilt this brings up for her as a parent, leading her to discuss parenting more broadly. She describes meeting her husband and getting pregnant with her daughter within 6 weeks of meeting and how they’ve sustained their marriage for 17 years. She credits it to her partner getting sober, deep friendships and couples counseling. Bullock speaks about her current relationship to her dad, the effect her distant relationship with her mother has had and wanting to change that with her relationship with her kids; cultivating an intergenerational connection. She describes her experience dropping out of high school, participating in the underground punk scene and being incarcerated at 19. After being incarcerated, Bullock started a support group for mom’s in a prison near her home which became the Prison Birth Project. She speaks about leaving that organization for her own mental health reasons and because of the financial inviability. This transition leading her to go to Smith College as an Ada Comstock scholar. She talks about getting her first job out of Smith, negotiating her salary for the first time, and working for an organization called Up Together on guaranteed income, making an middle class living. All of this on behalf of helping her kids get to college but admits the inevitability of messing up your kids.This interview would be of interest to someone interested in parenting, parenting as a young person, non profit work, prison justice, and family dynamics.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”