Michael McLaughlin has worked for over 25 years as a poet-in-residence at Atascadero State Hospital and as a contract artist with the California Department of Corrections and with California Poets in the Schools. McLaughlin is the author of three collections of poetry: Ped Xing (Creative Press, 1977), The Upholstery of Heaven (Don’t Trip Press, 1996), and Countless Cinemas (University of Hell Press, 2016). He is also the author of the novel Western People Show Their Faces (1987).

A graduate of USCs Master of Professional Writing program, McLaughlin was founding editor of its literary journal, The Southern California Anthology. He served as poet laureate of San Luis Obispo County in 2003, and he curates Santa Maria’s “Live from the CORE” poetry/performance series. McLaughlin is currently poet-in-residence at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California.