The Freedom of the Ignored, the author's debut poetry book, asks the reader to move beyond the stereotype of a politician and invites the sharing of Senator O'Neill's most intimate details of his life as an elected official. In his poems, the author conveys an ongoing journey informed by the complexity of his relationships with other legislators as well as his personal struggle in caring for his lifelong partner who has multiple sclerosis. This book offers a fascinating window into the lives of citizen legislators and the intensity of the decisions they often face as they fulfill their civic responsibility to us as elected officials.
Bill O'Neill grew up in rural Ohio and graduated from Cornell University. Elected to the New Mexico Legislature in 2008 he is now in his second term in the New Mexico State Senate. His poems have appeared in numberous literary reviews, both regional and national. Bill's career has been framed by his work with non-profits, with a focus on incarcerated juveniles and adults. In 2005 Governor Bill Richardson appointed him Executive Director of the NM Juvenile Parole Board. Named an Emerging Leader in 2016 by the University Of Virginia's Darden School, he credits his early literary inspiration to mentors E.L. Doctorow and V.B. Price