Margo Perin

Margo Perin’s publications include The Opposite of Hollywood, Only the Dead Can Kill: Stories from JailPlexiglass, and How I Learned to Cook & Other Writings on Complex Mother-Daughter Relationships. She is the poet of San Francisco’s permanent memorial Spiral of Gratitude. A nominee for the Pushcart Prize, she has been featured in numerous national and international media, including Heyday/PEN’s Fightin’ WordsThe San Francisco Chronicle Sunday MagazineO, The Oprah Magazine, Mexico’s El Petit Journal, Holland’s PsycologieKRON 4 TVNPR’s Talk of the Nation, and KALW, KPFA, and WAMC. Her passions are teaching and writing, especially memoir and autobiographical fiction and poetry. She has taught for more than thirty years, including M.F.A. and M.A. Creative Writing at USF and New College, at UC Berkeley Extension, California Poets in the Schools, and in the U.K., Mexico, and Italy. She is pleased to be back at after a hiatus when she focused on teaching personal narrative to adults and youth incarcerated in California jails and prisons. Please visit her at and see her work at–poetry.html, and view her interview on autobiographical writing.

Student Feedback for Margo

Margo is a fantastic teacher!  She gave so much attention to every single piece of writing including all the critiques.  I was extremely satisfied with the class content. I was sorry to see the workshop come to an end. I would absolutely recommend it. Madlyn Springston

This was an excellent class and one that gave me a weekly opportunity to flesh out ideas and get real-time responses. Margo is knowledgeable and compassionate, with a keen eye for strengths and areas of growth. Tom Lorio

Margo was attentive and understanding as an instructor. She provided useful critiques and wise guidance. She was also kind in giving criticism, a skill not mastered by all instructors. All the lessons were adequately described and the lecture notes and supplemental readings were very detailed and clear. The assignments were challenging and interesting… I would and I have recommended your classes to many friends… Your attention to and care for your students is admirable. I am very happy to have found your website. Sia Corrina Durocher

Margo had great feedback, and all her responses to students’ writing were thorough, positive, and extremely helpful. She was encouraging and kind during all interactions, and all her comments were very meaningful. Rebecca Schechter

I found Margo to be highly sensitive to our abilities, both in terms of our gifts as well as challenges as writers.  I really appreciated her attention to subtle but powerful details.  Her suggestion of what seemed like a simple one-word change were profound and helped me see my writing process in new, advanced ways. Terilee Wunderman

I was very happy with the class content. Margo gave truly helpful comments and was extremely supportive.I would and have extolled this program to many people. I got exactly what I’d hoped for, and I think it’s a really high-quality operation. Molly Cheek

Margo is an excellent teacher, great critiques, motivational and sincere in her feedback. I found this class a perfect fit for me to assist me with my short story writing. The assignments were spot on, the plot, point of view and scene building assignments were eye opening to me. Also, the online classroom was great. I will take another class.  Mike Karpinski

[Margo] has a way of bringing out the best in each of the writers. She always provided constructive feedback. I looked forward to hearing what she had to say and learned a lot from her feedback, not just for me but for everyone. I thought the class lectures and assignments really helped me think about what I wanted to say and how I should say it. They were the right mix of challenging but not overwhelming. I am impressed the course offerings provided by I am currently taking another class and plan to take others.  Abigail Aguirre