“Eight years I’d lived in this little Carolina Lowcountry town, this heat-buzzing and buzzard-circling town, this mourning dove and rain frog-croaking town, this town of oyster shells and sagging cottages under Spanish moss; this good-time-on-a-tidal-river town that now has its other three sides completely hemmed in by suburban sprawl, but that’s okay because Bluffton’s heart’s still right. It has been a good place for me.

     For the first six years I led a semi-normal life, working jobs and paying rent. Then times got tough and I had to reinvent myself as a rambler: couch-surfing, odd jobs, the kindness of friends and strangers, some camping and a lot of travel. Next thing I knew I had my first book….”

—from Rambler’s Life: the South Reloaded


Michele Roldan-Shaw
Pressly Hall Photography

Michele Roldán-Shaw is a self-taught artist, journalist and mad poet-rambler. Born in Bogotá, Colombia, to a Colombian father and an American mother, she has been on the move since age six-weeks. 29 Pines was the name of her great-grandfather’s farm where she spent her growing-up years, on the rain-driven coast of Washington State. In high school she started a zine, self-published work, which saved her small-town soul. Later she graduated from the nontraditional Evergreen State College with a degree in basically nothing, and sort of by accident became a reporter for the weekly Sequim Gazette. At age twenty-one, in desperate need of a change of air, Michele came to South Carolina with a one-way ticket and a duffel bag—one of the best wild hairs of her life. Since then she has freelanced for regional magazines, continued to publish a zine, painted pictures on driftwood and scrap, held down the odd part-time, tramped the woods and marshes, gone swimming in the tidal creeks, studied kung fu and visited other countries. In 2010 she started the Rambler’s Life Project.

Michele's first TV interview:


Articles about Michele: 




Ransom Note  












Arts Council


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