A Narrative Biography in Brief
After many years of living in San Francisco's Sunset District, a few steps from the beach, we moved in the summer of 2018 to an old farmhouse near Asheville, North Carolina. Three massive oak trees live here, and appear on these pages, they were planted in 1905.
I grew up in Ohio, in the last bloom of big Catholic families, an epic chronicled in This Earth You'll Come Back To. In the late 1970s, at 17, I moved to the West Coast and spent several glorious, fir-scented years in the naked woods of Oregon. Then moved to Berkeley where I worked for Turtle Island Foundation, the small press responsible for bringing out work by the likes of Zora Neale Hurston and Lucia Berlin. It was there that I met the writers who would lead me to Bard College where I earned an MFA. During those years I traveled to India and Nepal to study Tibetan Buddhism.
After Bard I moved to NYC, worked briefly at Viking Penguin, then spent several years as a travel writer, driving back, forth, up and down the roads of America. Eventually, I returned to California and managed aerial photography projects, spending a lifetime in small planes flying over the West Coast and Hawaii, where once I narrowly missed being swallowed up by the Kilauea Volcano.
In the early 1990s, I worked at Harper Collins San Francisco, where I conceived and edited a series of books on religious ritual, “Signs of the Sacred”. I also met my husband Mark MacNamara and we had a son Dashiell, now 25. I became a free-lancer and wrote about Buddhism for Tricycle Magazine and bookstores for Publisher’s Weekly as well as a contributing editor at Five Fingers Review. I continued to publish poems and stories, and read a lot of Balzac, Fielding and Sterne. In 2005, we moved to Morocco where I taught high school in the Atlas Mountains, not far from Fez.
When we returned to the US I became interested in Maria Montessori and her Education for Peace initiatives. In the last decade, I’ve designed curriculum and taught Montessori middle school/high school programs in California and in Bali, Indonesia, and most recently in 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.
I'm currently at work on a collection of essays and finishing a picaresque novel with the working title The Very Modern Adventures of Genevieve and Gloria.