Marsha de la O was born and raised in Southern California. She earned her MFA from Vermont College and is the author of two collections of poetry: Black Hope (1997), winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize, and Antidote for Night (2015), winner of the Isabella Gardner Prize from BOA Editions. De la O is associated with the landscapes and cityscapes of Southern California, and her poetry is known for its nuanced observation and description of the region. A former bilingual schoolteacher in Los Angeles and the rural community of Santa Paula, de la O now lives in Ventura, California. With her husband, poet Phil Taggart, she publishes the poetry journal Askew.

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