Miriam Anne (Schaeffer) Goodman
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Age 69, of Arlington, formerly of Somerville/Cambridge, Provincetown, MA, and Queens, New York, on Sunday, May 11, 2008. Miriam was an accomplished poet and photographer, a fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center as well as several art colonies, including the McDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire and the Ragdale Foundation, in Chicago. She was an early member of Alice James Books during its cooperative days in Cambridge, MA in the late seventies. She was a technical writer and trainer for several high-tech companies in the Boston Area during that industry's heyday in the 1980s and through the 1990s. At age 50, she studied, and then taught photography, contributing a permanent traveling collection to the Griffin Museum of Photography in 2007. During recent years she taught college-level art classes in an interdisciplinary field: "word and image," at several area universities, including the Radcliffe Seminars, Lesley and Suffolk Universities. She also initiated and ran word-and-image lecture series for the New England School of Photography and for Lesley University. She is fondly remembered as a teacher, mentor, and woman of intense vision and intellectual depth, by all who knew and loved her. Her generosity, warmth, and laughter were a gift to all. Beloved daughter of the late Samuel and Rebecca (Perkis) Schaeffer. Devoted mother of Sarah Anna Goodman and Tim Nihoff of Peaks Island, Maine and Julia Helen Goodman and Stuart Pitchel of Arlington, MA. Loving grandmother of Ariel Goodman-Weston, Mason Pitchel, Reuben Pitchel, and Jonah Pitchel. Beloved aunt of Rebecca Ennen, Rachel Tova Goodman. Alyssa Goodman, Meryl Fink, and Felicia Kasden. Dear sister (by marriage) of Ruth Goodman, Leon and Leona Goodman, Jerry Goodman, and Sheilah Goodman and Harvey Kasden; close cousin of Sue and Mark Haven, Bobby Perkis, Daniel Perkis, Marion Perkis, Harry and Irene Blum, Lester and Edith Blum, Lou Perkis and Naomi Harbottle; treasured friend of ex-husband Robert Goodman and his wife Stephanie Levin, Jane Kogan, Frank Tadley, Robin Becker, Leslie Lawrence, Karen Davis, Celia Gilbert, Marcia Lieberman and so many other lifelong and enduring friends. Services will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, May 16 at Temple Shir Tikvah, 34 Vine St., Winchester, with a memorial reception at the Griffin Museum of Photography, 67 Shore Rd., Winchester from 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Chilton House Hospice, 65 Chilton St., Cambridge, MA 02138, or to the Griffin Museum, 67 Shore Rd., Winchester, MA 01890, or to the charity of your choosing. Levine Chapels, Brookline (617) 277-8300

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Published in Boston Globe on May 14, 2008.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Sheilah Goodman
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27 entries
December 2, 2012
I still miss you.
Five Tennyson
October 6, 2012
So glad to have known you and felt your wisdom.
Marilyn Root
April 30, 2012
Miriam was amazing. I am grateful that this book is online to help me stay connected to her and her work and legacy
rim meirowitz
April 29, 2012
I miss you.
February 14, 2009
I have, with sadness, just learned of Miriam’s death. We were, in the 60’s and early 70’s. quite close. I have in front of me an aged and somewhat frayed stack of letters and poems from Miriam.

A letter dated May 22, 1972 says, “Dear Sylvia, I wanted to leave copies of the most recent of this year’s work with you – before I leave for the coast. Since you are kind enough (blah, blah) to read carefully and since I feel related to you as alter ego, barometer, something (both red hair?) I begin to feel confident mainly only about the ones that find some recognition from you.

So there’s a burden in the morning mail.

Thanking you. It was an up to see you. I’ll be in Cambridge soon.
Love, Miriam”

I loved reading her poems and have kept every one that she sent/gave to me. Her first published poem, Code of the West, was written to/about me when she was mad at me for reasons I can’t remember. I was then still using my married name of Katz.

Our lives diverged in 1974 so I did not see the photography.

Goodbye Miriam, I am richer for having known you.

On my death I would like to have my frayed stack of paper sent to Sarah or Julia and would like an address. I will end with my email address so that, if they wish, they can reach me.

Sylvia De Rooy
Trinidad, California
Sylvia De Rooy
August 12, 2008
It's already August and I've returned to this site, just to see and remember.
How strange that I met Miriam only near the end of her life--and how joyous that I met Miriam.
Knowing her at all, no matter what, no matter for how long
was always wonderous.
rabbi rim meirowitz
rim meirowitz
May 25, 2008
I met Miriam in a beginning photography class at New England School of Photography (NESOP). More classes followed. Out of friendships made in those classes, we formed a lively, productive photography group, Pix Chix, which included Miriam and other photo folks from NESOP. I am grateful to have been a part of Pix Chix, and to have been included in many of the activities of the group after it evolved into F8. During this time, Miriam and others opened the door to weaving together two arts—writing and photography. This marriage generated many projects, workshops, exhibits and collaborations that will continue to evolve and produce art and friendships, the two ingredients Miriam so magically blended. Miriam was always at the center of these amazing happenings, injecting her seemingly endless supply of wisdom, generosity and encouragement. Her gifts will be missed by me and no doubt all who were fortunate to know her, but surely we will continue to draw inspiration from having had Miriam in our lives.

I want to thank Miriam’s family and friends who created and participated in her memorial. Listening to the loving and right-on remembrances in words and song was so helpful in evoking my memories and appreciation of Miriam and her remarkable gifts.
Maxine Sushelsky
May 23, 2008
Miriam was a skilled and fearless editor for her students. When I sent her my rewrites she persistently re-edited with enormous support until she finally said, “You’ve got it!”

I suggested she conduct an on line workshop a few summers ago: we wrote, she edited, we wrote again and so on until we all met at the end of the summer sharing our work, laughter, tears and lunch.

Any literary success I may have in future is shared with Miriam. Her friendship, interest and encouragement have enriched me – I miss her.

student & friend
Linda Rogers
May 22, 2008
May 22, 2008
Miriam took herself seriously as an artist and threw that cape over us, her students: We are to take ourselves seriously as artists, and have great fun doing it. She edited my poems with an unsentimental and loving eye and ear. I counted her a major friend, and I keep her joyous, reverent, irreverent spirit with me always.
I send love to you, her family and friends, for the good fortune of having shared her life, and for your loss.
Liz Weld Nolan
May 19, 2008
I lived with Miriam and Robin Becker on Buena Vista Avenue in Cambridge during the autumn of 1978, and remember it as both a refuge and an open door to other people and worlds that intersected there. At the time Miriam was spending a lot of time with a young co-worker named Jamie, who was very interested in photography and the outdoors; Miriam had just turned 40 and showed me how Influenced by Sarah's visits, I found myself enjoying making drawings and surprised that I could. A vivid memory is of an occasional roommate named Betty, who was going through chemotherapy, a divorce, and broke. I could hear her bouts with nausea in the room across from mine after treatments, and when she felt better, observe visits from her 16 year-old daughter. Her daughter was trying out for a school play, and one long afternoon I listened as Betty coached her daughter in the song "One Special Boy (That's the Way It Should Be)" from Bye Bye Birdie. They sang that cornball number - ironic in their situation - so tenderly and sweetly together, really to each other. Betty died not long after. Miriam made so much possible for so many people. I feel lucky to have been one of them, and to have spent that time in her beautiful aura.
Harriet Reisen
May 18, 2008
Miriam was a friend of many years, I loved her very much. Intelligent, funny, generous, so many good qualities. My life was better for having known her.
William Gilson
May 17, 2008
My life is richer for having known Miriam.
She was an extraordinary person and touched everyone in so many different ways.
She will always be in my thoughts.
Dee Shapiro
May 16, 2008
I'm so sad to learn of Miriam's passing. Her artist's soul shone through to all who knew her, however peripherally. She will be missed by so many, and be loved into eternity.
Audrey Roth
May 16, 2008
It was an honor to have been a friend of Miriam's. She will sorely be missed by all whose lives she touched.
Rachel Pitchel
May 16, 2008
I was fortunate to meet Miriam, as she became a close friend of my mother and step-father, Karen Davis and Mark Orton. Although my interactions weren't many in number, I knew her for several years. Miriam to me will always be remembered as a person who immediately arrested one's attention with her attention to you. Her substance was sharp, generous, and concerned. I am far away and therefore unable to participate physically in the collective rememberence. But I and my spouse (Nan) send our love from Hong Kong.
Jonathan London
May 15, 2008
Miriam was always open and very forgiving of any lapse that may have of occurred in cousin visits. I have wonderful memories of times spent at her house and at my family house. I was in to see her on Saturday and had good moments with her.
Sending my symphony
Flo Blum
May 15, 2008
How much fun it was to work with Miriam on the work-poem anthology that she
guest-edited for Frigatezine.com, our online magazine.

She was a thoughtful, savvy, lively friend. I cherish memories of my time with her and with other dear friends in Montolieu, the book village in the
south of France. And I can still see Miriam in her house in Nelson, NH, when I stayed a few days with Leslie Lawrence. For many years my computer
desktop was covered by a photograph Miriam took of the inside of a garage. It was an endlessly fascinating study of chaos and order, purposefulness and casualness. Other wonderful photos by Miriam are scattered throughout the work issue of Frigatezine. Those who want to
see the photos and read the work-poem anthology are invited to enjoy them on the site. The magazine is no longer active, but its riches remain, and no contributions were richer than Miriam's.
Patricia Eakins
May 15, 2008
Miriam was my mentor and confrere when I sojourned in the tech-writing world in the early eighties; we worked together at several companies. What I knew about the ropes I learned from her. She was always a sane voice in that habitually hysterical world. It was my huge luck to meet her there; and to discover at the same time so warm and generous a friend was one of those delights you know you can't deserve and feel all the more grateful for.
Charles Hartman
May 15, 2008
Dear Mir,
I treasure our years together. Thank you for sharing Nelson with me. Thank you for being such a gentle and kind person. I'm not a writer or a poet or a photographer, but I learned that I could love one from being around you. Rest in peace and know that I will never forget you.
Love, Donna
Donna Cooper
May 14, 2008
There is much to love in Miriam, she led such a rich and varied life, and connected with so many people over so many things. What stands out especially for me are her generosity -- how she welcomed me at Nelson and attended to what she knew I would love about it; her passion for her art and for her intellectual adventures; her capacity for love; and maybe best of all, her great pleasure always in the accomplishments of others. She was amazing and warm and funny and wonderful. What a loss.
Lee Warren
May 14, 2008
I was shocked and saddened to learn of Miriam's death. She was a dear friend, a valued co-worker, and a fine poet. She was particularly generous in her friendships, brining together people with similar interests who might not otherwise have met. She thereby enriched the lives of many. She will be remembered with affection and gratitude by all who knew her and worked with her over the years
John Kirsch
May 14, 2008
Dear Mir,
Thank you for your wonderful poetry and photographs, for welcoming Jonathan and I to the Mowing, and for helping me think through my business. Your questions were always right to the point!

I'll miss you and your artistry.

love, Vicki
Vicki Citron
May 14, 2008
Miriam has been one of my role models since we started working together at Kurzweil 23 years ago: a model for how to work full time and still be an active writer and artist, a model for how to be creative and fun and insightful and brilliant (although there's no way I'll ever achieve her level of any of that!), a model for how to mother and co-mother, even a model for how to keep creating art in the face of corrosive treatment and a terminal illness. I miss her and hold her in my heart as life goes forward, unfairly, without her.
Edith Maxwell
May 14, 2008
As I try to write about Miriam and express my vast love for her, my keyboard drowns. She has been an intregral presence in my life, from my earliest memories of brunches on Huron Ave. to dinner at her Freeman Street apartment. She honored me as an artist with my first commission.
Rachel Blum
May 14, 2008
We shall never forget Miriam. She was the one individual who ultimately inspired me to go into teaching. Her warmth, caring, and compassion to those around her were unbelievable. Despite the fact that distance prevented us from staying in regular contact, we never forgot about her and and always thought about her during Passover. She truly was a wonderful person and we will greatly miss her!
Daniel Sogin
May 14, 2008
Abby, for Miriam
Miriam was one of the deepest, most intrinsically artistic, people I've known. Her photography *was* poetry.

One time nearly a decade ago, Edward & I were at an art show down by the Charles. A tent was set up with a photo exhibit/sale. One picture, of a this kid staring off into space from a dock, just called out to me. What was this kid thinking? Jump in? Make ripples? Who knew...but I wanted to know. And I wanted to buy the photo, and to know who took it. Seconds later, Miriam comes up behind me and surprises me with a tap on the shoulder. "Hi," she says, "like the picture?" "Yes, I think it's just so deep," I said. "Oh, glad you like it, it's mine." I had had no idea that Miriam's work was in this show before that moment... Clearly, I bought the photo (which people to this day think is of Abby--it's not!), and became a groupie for Miriam's photography ever since.

Every once in a while, Miriam and I would exchange photos by email. Just last month, on April 2, I took a shot of Abby I thought she would like (see the photo posted here). I sent it to her, and she, in spite of her illness, responded within minutes to say "Alyssa - Thats a Beauty - thanks for sending it my way -Mir"

I'd like to thank the world for sending Miriam our way.
Alyssa Goodman
May 14, 2008
Miriam was a wonderful neighbor and friend to me and my father Al Rubio.
Ann Froines
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