BIOGRAPHY

Graduating in 1968 with a BA in English from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, I taught English in rural, urban, and suburban high schools, Stillwater Prison, and community and technical colleges. In 1976, I completed Master’s work in education at the University of Minnesota and administered the University’s Community Programs for its Extension Division. Raising three children in St. Paul, I bought, fixed-up, and maintained rental properties. Involved in my children’s education, I served on the St. Luke’s School Board and was the Chair of the Parent’s Advisory Board of the J. J. Hill Public School Magnet for the Gifted and Talented. From 1999 to 2002, I served as the editor and publisher of River Images, a magazine showcasing artists and writers from the St. Croix River Valley in Minnesota and Wisconsin. In 2005, I received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota, where I taught literature, composition, and creative writing; in 2006, I taught and advised the undergraduate art and literary magazine, The Ivory Tower. I also taught at the Jewish Community Center in St. Paul and ran short-short story contests for MinnPost. For going-on twenty years, I conducted a variety of workshops in Minnesota and other states and taught classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. I also served on the Board of the Loft as Vice-Chair. For many years, I served on the Board of Hammer Residences, Inc., serving children and adults with development disabilities, and People Incorporated, which provides community-integrated services and support for people with mental illness. My husband and I have also been involved with St. John’s University’s Hill Museum and Manuscript Library Board for many years, visiting countries vulnerable to violence and destruction, helping to gain access to scan and digitalize ancient manuscripts for scholars all over the world. We continue working on this great mission. I’m on the Board of Writers Rising Up to Defend Place, Natural Habitat, Wetlands, and I continue teaching at the Marine Mills Folk School near our cabin in Marine on St. Croix, MN. We raised our family in St. Paul and now live in Minneapolis near the Mississippi River. We see our children and grandchildren often in Minnesota and New York.

Prose Publications: Memoir, Called: The Making & Unmaking of a Nun, Antrim House, 2016.

Writing Prompt for Members of the Loft Literary Center, 2020; “How to write about a day in a life?” Minnesota Women’s Press, 2017; “Why Write Creative Nonfiction?” Blog on The Writers’ Block of The Loft Literary Center, 2015; “Tourists At Terezin,” The Talking Stick, Volume 20, 2011; “The Flood,” The State We’re In, anthology of the Minnesota Historical Society, 2010; “In Montana,” Second Place Winner of the 55-word Fiction Contest, Fine Lines, Volume 19, 2010; “A Floater On The Course,” Best of the Web 2009, anthology by Dzanc Books; “Princess,” Dust and Fire, 2009; “Song For The Kind,” SN Review, 2008; “A Floater on the Course,” hotmetalpress.org, 2008; “Papa,” River Images, 2001; “Blackie,” Community Connections, 2000, Sidewalks, 1995-96; “The Canning Jar,” Minnesota Parent, 1999; “The Flood,” Gypsy Cab, 1996; “Mom in Memoir,” Gypsy Cab, 1995; “The Ironing Board,” Community Connections, 1994-95; “The Slough,” Community Connections, 1993-94.

Poetry Publications: If You Have Something to Say, Margaret, WordTech Communications under the imprint CW Books (Diverse Poetry by Diverse Poets), 2020; Chapbook, My Memoir Dress, Finishing Line Press, 2011.

“In Arab Spring,” Agates, 2023; “Are You Grieving?,” Bearings Online, 2022; “Full Circle,” Under Purple Skies, The Minneapolis Anthology, 2019; “Watching the River Flow,” Mississippi River Story Map and Write to the River, 2018; “Stone Poem,” anthology of New Rivers Press, Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan, 2018; “Parent-Teacher Conferences,” Right Hand Pointing, 2018; “To My Brother Tom,” Poetry Contest issue of Passager, 2017; “Baseball For Ages,” Baseball Bard, 2015; “This White Pine,” Bearings, 2013; Dear Rosalie,” The Talking Stick,” Volume 21, 2012; Another Portrait Of My Mother,” Grey Sparrow Press, 2011; “Shot Down,” Lake Region Review, 2011; “Going Solo,” The Talking Stick, Volume 20, 2011; “Partial Portrait Of My Mother,” Plains Song Review, Vol. XIII, 2011; “Shot Down: Number One,” The Talking Stick, Volume Eighteen, 2010; “The Flax Story,” “Curious” and “Dad,” Plains Song Review, Vol. XII, 2010; “My Memoir Dress,” Dust and Fire, 2009; “Partial Portrait Of My Mother” and “Wildflowers,” hotmetalpress.net, 2009; “Hold On,” The Broome Review, 2008, “Song Of Experience,” Dust and Fire, 2006; “Akin To Animals,” “To Be Spring Flowers,” “Salute To Snag,” The Wake, 2005; “Sense,” Liminal, 2005; “Epithalamium,” “The Scale,” “Song Of Experience,” “Hold On,” Program Newsletter 2004 of the University of Minnesota Creative Writing Department; “River Notes,” Sidewalks, 2001; “Aurora Borealis,” Minnesota Chapter News of the Nature Conservancy, 2001, Community Connections, 2000, and The New Scandia Poets, 1999; “Like Spring Flowers,” Community Connections, 2001; “Lonely,” River Images, 2001; “Fire And Ice (III),” Full Circle 20, 1999; “When,” “A Stone Poem,” “Fire And Ice (1),” Fire And Ice (2),” The New Scandia Poets, 1999; “When,” River Images, 1999; “When I Go,” River Images, 1999;  “Memory,” Lake Region Review, 1998 and River Images, 1999; “Marshall, Minnesota / A Memoir,” Fauquier Poetry Journal, 1998 and River Images, 1999; “Stone Poem,” 100 Words, 1997.

Other Publications:

Short story, “The Slough,” incorporated into the stage play, “Jack’s Back Door Cafe,” for the St. Croix Festival Theatre, 2015; Poems, “Fishy Tanka Scores,” “Ode To A Red Elm Leaf,” “Reflecting Prisms Of Glass Ornaments,” published in Calendars for Explore Your Roots, Writers Rising Up to Defend Place, Natural Habitats, Wetlands at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 2014, 2013, and 2010; historical screenplay, Leaving Home, read at the Playwright’s Center in 1999; historical booklet, the Story of Hammer, written for its organization, 1998.

Writing Workshops Taught:

Marine Mills Folk School; Rosemount Writing Festival; Poetry Group of Menomonie, WI; Writer’s Digest; Collegeville Institute, Wholly Writers, History Department at St. John’s University; Jackpine Writers’ Bloc of Nimrod, MN; Washington County Libraries; ArtReach St. Croix; Dakota County Libraries; Artability of People Incorporated; University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum; Bloomington Writers’ Festival and Book Fair.

Other Literary Activities:

“Ask a Writer a Question,” Loft Literary Center’s Wordplay, Minneapolis, 2019; Sold books at Authors Selling and Signing, Country Faire, Rosemount, MN, Farm By The Lake, Bagley, MN, Northwoods Art and Book Festival, Hackensack, MN, 2017-2018; Judged creative nonfiction short-shorts for Jackpine Writers’ Bloc The Talking Stick, 2017; Interviewed for Bat of Minerva, Voices of Northeast Video Series, 2016; Sold books at Rain Taxi’s Twin Cities Book Festival, St. Paul, 2016; Judged for the Midwest Book Awards, 2016; Co-hosted an event for the Loft Literary Center’s 40 for 40 Celebration, Minneapolis, 2015; Judged creative nonfiction for Jackpine Writers’ Bloc, 2015; Panelist on Voices of Experience Conference, Loft Literary Center, 2013; Judged poetry selections for the Northwoods Art and Book Festival, 2013; Co-hosted the Loft Literary Center’s first Short-Short Salon, 2012; Ran contests of short-short stories for MinnPost from 2009-2012; Attended the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference, Colrain, MA, 2011; Finalist, Loft Mentor Series, 2010-2011, 2009-2010, 2007-2008; Judged A Writing Anthology for Artability, People Incorporated, St. Paul, 2009; Taught a Senior Center Creative Writing Lab for the Loft Literary Center, 2008; SASE Mentorship, 2008; Served on the commission of the Minnesota Humanities Center to choose the first Poet Laureate of Minnesota, 2007; Pitched Loft Literary Center classes at Barnes & Noble in St. Paul and Minnetonka, 2006; Fellowship, Summer Literary Seminar, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2006; Marcella DeBourg Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 2005; Honorable Mention in Poetry, Gesell Awards, University of Minnesota, 2004; Presented on a panel at the Associated Writing Program’s annual conference, 2004, Fellowship, Prague Summer Program, 2003.

Public Readings:

Celebrating Women Poets (Virtual) Literary Lights, Next Chapter Booksellers, 2021; Book Launch, If You Have Something to Say, Margaret, (Virtual) Loft Literary Center, 2020; Poetry Crawl, (Virtual) Marine Community Library, 2020; Author Meet and Greet, Marshall, MN Area Fine Arts Council, 2020; Writers Read, The Coffee Shop, Northeast Minneapolis, 2019; Celebrating the Anthology Inspired by Bob Dylan: An Evening of Music, Art & Poetry, Rain Taxi’s Twin Cities Book Festival and the University Club, St. Paul, Paradise Center for the Arts, Faribault, MN, Teatro Zuccone and Zenith Bookstore, Duluth, MN, 2018-2019; Celebrating the Anthology, Under Purple Skies, Loft Literary Center’s Wordplay, Minneapolis, 2019; Writers Read, The Coffee Shop, NE Minneapolis, 2018; Poetry Crawl, Marine Community Library, 2018; Cracked Walnut Literary Festival, Nokomis Library, Minneapolis, 2017; Book Launch, Called: The Making & Unmaking of a Nun, Loft Literary Center; Readings from Called at Community Library, Milaca, MN, Eat My Words Bookstore, NE Minneapolis, Lyon County Public Library and Marshall Area Fine Arts Council Center, KFAI Write on! Radio, Montana Book Festival, Missoula, MT, Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, MN, 2016-2017; Loft Literary Center’s 40 for 40 Celebration, Minneapolis, 2015; Dreamland Arts, Cracked Walnut Literary Festival, 2015; Creative nonfiction story “As A Postulant,” Creative Work Prize from the Women Center, St. Catherine University, 2014; Art-A-Whirl, Minneapolis, 2013; Claddagh Coffee, St. Paul, 2012; Women Poets, Reading by Writers, University Club, St. Paul, 2012; Launch of Chapbook, My Memoir Dress, Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis, 2011; International Peace Gardens, ND and Manitoba, Canada, 2011; Poetry in the Parlour, University of St. Catherine Summer Chautauqua, 2011; The Works: A Writer’s Salon, Bryant-Lake Bowl, Minneapolis, 2010; “converse in verse,” Nina’s Cafe, St. Paul, MN, 2010; Happiness Symposium, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, 2010; Yellow Tree Theater, Brooklyn Center, 2008; Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis, 2008; Short story “Upturn,” Creative Work Prize from the Women Center, St. Catherine University, 2007; Dust and Fire, Minnesota State University, Bemidji, 2006; Poem “Things To Do With Tom,” finalist for Garrison Keillor’s Green Light at the End of the Dock Festival of Romantic Writing Contest, 2004; Celebrating the Anthology New Scandia Poets, Community Center, Scandia, MN and Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, MN, 1999; “Mom,” Creative Work Prize from the Women Center, St. Catherine University, 1996.

Awards:

If You Have Something to Say, Margaret, Book Excellence Award Finalist, 2021;  If You Have Something to Say, Margaret and Called: The Making & Unmaking of a Nun, Elite Choice Awards, 2020; If You Have Something to Say, Margaret, Readers’ Favorite Award, 2020; Essay, “Upturn” Honorable Mention for the 47th New Millennium Writing Awards, 2019; Excellence in Teaching Fellowship from the Loft Literary Center, 2019; Called: The Making & Unmaking of a Nun, Global Book Excellence Award Finalist, 2018; Called: The Making & Unmaking of a Nun, featured on American Book Fest, 2018 Best Book Awards; Poem, “See the Girl with the Red Dress On,” selected to be read at the Minnesota Voices Program at the Wadena County Museum, 2018; Five Star review for Called: The Making & Unmaking of a Nun, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Award Contest, 2017; Poem, “This White Pine,” selected to be read at the Minnesota Voices Program at the Wadena County Museum, 2017; Poem, “Values Clarification,” Honorable Mention in Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, 2015; creative nonfiction story, “As A Postulant,” Creative Work Prize from the Women Center, St. Catherine University, 2014; short story, “Upturn,” Creative Work Prize from the Women Center, St. Catherine University, 2007; fellowship, Summer Literary Seminar, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2006; Marcella DeBourg Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 2005; Honorable Mention in Poetry, Gesell Awards, University of Minnesota, 2004; poem, “Things To Do With Tom,” finalist for Garrison Keillor’s Green Light at the End of the Dock Festival of Romantic Writing Contest, 2004; fellowship, Prague Summer Program, 2003; “Mom,” Creative Work Prize from the Women Center, St. Catherine University, 1996.