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. One day, I will be able to speak of this, but not yet. In Asheville I curate the Why There Are Words Literary Series, and teach locally.
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 2018 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.