About Margo ...
,Margo Perin’s most recent publication is Plexiglass, a collection of interrelated poems incorporating the voices of men and women held captive by the US American prison industrial complex. Plexiglass is Margo's first book of poetry. Her novel, The Opposite of Hollywood, tells the story of her childhood being raised by a father on the lam.
Margo's poetry was anthologized in Heyday/PEN's Fightin’ Words and in 2012, she was commissioned by Shimon Attie (artist) and the San Francisco Arts Commission/Baleaf to create a poem for the Spiral of Gratitude public memorial to honor the families and friends of police officers who were killed or wounded in the line of duty. Spiral of Gratitude is a permanent installation in the foyer of San Francisco’s Public Safety Building. The poem also appears on a plaque next to the Wall of Names.
A nominee for the Pushcart Prize, Margo is the contributing editor of Only the Dead Can Kill: Stories from Jail and How I Learned To Cook and Other Writings on Complex Mother-Daughter Relationships. She has published widely in literary and journalistic publications, including California Tomorrow, Tenderloin Times, Paintbrush and Treasure House Review, Creating Behind the Razor Wire, wrote What She Would Say, a one-woman show produced in Chicago’s Lionheart Theater, and was the recipient of grants from the Creative Work Fund, tSan Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grants (two), Poets & Writers (three), California Arts Council, and Vintners Community Foundation grants, and residencies at Squaw, Hedgebrook and Norcroft.
Her interviews and features include BBC News, BBC World Service Outlook, NPR, KRCB, KPFA 2004 and 2015 KALW, KRON4 TV, Press Democrat, Poets & Writers 2016 and 2018,The San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Magazine, O, the Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, SF Weekly, BUST, Ellegirl, Seventeen, Psychology Today, Mexico’s El Petit Journal, Holland’s Psychologie Magazine, CultureConnect TV Part I & 2, WAMC, MAXIM Radio, WMMT Thousand Kites, and other media.
Margo is currently the California Poets in the Schools Sonoma County Network Coordinator. Among other teaching artist residencies Margo facilitates healing through poetry and creative writing workshops, including for children and adults dealing with trauma, incarcerated and targeted youth and adults, medical professionals, and people with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. She has taught writing for more than thirty years in the U.S., Britain, Mexico and Italy, including on M.F.A. writing programs at the University of San Francisco and New College, and fiction and nonfiction workshops at the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Cruz Extensions. Her workshops are also at writers.com.
For more than a decade, Margo taught incarcerated men and women at San Francisco County Jail and San Quentin State Prison. She has taught writing to people challenged by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses at UCSF’s Art for Recovery and to medical professionals dealing with moral distress and work-related grief at Marin General Hospital. She has worked extensively with migrants, refugees, elders, and at-risk youth and adults. Margo also trains writing teachers and other professionals.
Margo founded the non-profit Write & Rise to provide services to people affected by crime. Her presentations with formerly incarcerated men and women to correctional, parole, and police officers have helped to educate and sensitize officer and offender alike to the humanity and life experiences of people who live and work in the criminal justice system. Trainings and presentations have been held at California State University Criminal Justice Administration, the Teachers for Social Justice Conference, U.C. Berkeley Extension, New College, and at substance treatment programs and group homes.