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Biography

I've had a long and varied career as a journalist, though I continue to be most interested in stories about health and science that interact with questions about policy and ethics. I like to examine major issues through the stories of individuals.

Over my career, I've moved from daily reporting to magazine writing, and most recently to books. My work has won numerous honors,including the Science in Society Award from the National Association of Science Writers, and awards for feature writing from the Associated Press, legal reporting from the California State Bar Association, news-feature writing from the San Francisco Press Club, and magazine writing from the national organization of Sunday magazines. As further evidence of my broad-ranging interests, I've also won prizes in business reporting, sports reporting, and poetry.

I worked for many years for the San Jose Mercury News, a Knight Ridder newspaper, as a reporter and Sunday magazine writer. Among other assignments for the Mercury, I spent a stint as a science writer and another opening Knight Ridder's first San Francisco bureau. I later joined the faculty of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. After teaching full-time for five years, I left to become a contributing writer to the Washington Post Magazine and a book reviewer and columnist. I've also freelanced widely.

During a John S. Knight fellowship at Stanford University in 1998-9, I divided my time between studying bioethics and poetry. Since then, my poems have appeared in many literary journals, including: American Journal of Poetry, Atlanta Review, Connecticut Review, Gargoyle, Greensboro Review, Harpur Palate, Hunger Mountain, Jabberwock, Nimrod, Poetry East, Poetry International, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, Redactions, River Styx, Salamander, Seattle Review, Southern Review, Southern Humanities Review, Southern Poetry Review, Sou'wester, Spillway, Tar River Poetry, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Verse Daily. I've been nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize, won multiple poetry awards and been published in many anthologies. In 2012, Cherry Grove Collections (WordTech) published my first full-length book of poems. In 2013, I earned an MFA in poetry from Pacific University. In 2016, my second full-length book of poems was published by Red Dragonfly Press after winning the David Martinson--Meadowhawk Prize.

I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley, where I also earned my Masters in Journalism. My two children are grown, but I continue to live in Berkeley with my husband, who is an earthquake engineer.