Raised in Yellowknife, now Denendeh, NWT, Margaret Macpherson quickly got an education in the outside world travelling extensively in Europe, Australia, and Central America before settling into an English Lit undergraduate degree at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton in the early ’80s. Macpherson wrote for periodicals and magazines (as well as being sole employee of a Halifax volunteer-run leftist bookstore) during her eight years in Atlantic Canada. In 1988 she and her husband moved to Bermuda where Macpherson worked as a full-time reporter.
Returning to Canada in 1992, Macpherson embarked on a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from UBC and completed the program as a visiting grad student at Edmonton’s U of A. She published a few contract non-fiction books as well as a biography of firebrand Nellie McClung Voice for the Voiceless in the early 2000s, but it was the publication of her short story collection Perilous Departures that launched her literary career. A first novel, Released was nominated for a Manitoba best book award in 2009, followed by a second novel Body Trade which won the De beers NorthWords Prize for Outstanding book in 2012.
Meanwhile, Macpherson formed an extraordinary network of creatives in Edmonton where she acted as a fiction editor of the Other Voices literary journal, became a driving force in the Alberta Branch of the Canadian Authors Association, and later, was elected the AB/NWT Rep for The Writers’ Union of Canada.
While living with her partner and three (occasionally four) children during her middle years, Macpherson worked as a theatre arts editor for the alternative press, and was hired as Writer-in-Residence for the Edmonton Public Library system. She taught creative writing at King’s College University, the U of A Women and Word program, as well as through Edmonton’s Metro continuing education. She also supported her writing by teaching high school English Literature at Northern Institute of Technology (NAIT) while juggling a number of mentorships with younger (and older) writers though the Writers Guild of Alberta.
Macpherson paints, travels, laughs long and often, and continues to explore and record the mystical communion of living things. She has recently moved to Deep River, in Northern Ontario, to begin her third act with her life partner.