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 2019 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 my novel 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, a small press responsible for re-introducing work by native Californians as well as 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 also 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 we 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 together. As a freelancer, I wrote about Buddhism for Tricycle Magazine and bookstores for Publisher’s Weekly as well as being a contributing editor at Five Fingers Review.
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 decades, I’ve designed curriculum and taught Montessori middle school/high school programs in California, in Bali, Indonesia, and Tokyo, Japan. I also taught Community college for several years at AB Tech in Asheville, and I remain dedicated to the belief that transformative education is essential, and possible.
In 2017 I became a founding editor at Wet Cement Press, dedicated to publishing "hand held books of hybrid genius"and that work continues to expand.