"Stories matter, whether factual, imagined, interpreted, or symbolic. I work at the intersection of narrative, conflict, and well-being. I'm especially interested in how stories are told, what makes them significant, and how they affect a person or group's lived life, particularly lives in crisis or conflict."
Michele DeMarco Wilkie is a truth seeker and a truth speaker, especially when those truths have something to say about the human condition. In her twenties, she dropped the study of criminal justice, then education, then business, and nearly dropped out of college altogether because none of these subjects alone were satisfying enough to answer life's most essential questions. Somehow she made her way to the study of comparative religion and ethics and narrative psychology, and while the experience elicited more questions than it did provide answers, she found it wholly compelling. Now she spends her time synthesizing, writing about, and consulting on how people around the world derive meaning, purpose, value, connection, resilience, and transcendence, and how it's translated into beliefs, practices, and narratives that frame life, particularly lives in crisis or conflict.
She holds advanced degrees in World Religion and Ethics, Comparative Culture and Conflict, and Psychology via an academic consortium comprising Boston University, Harvard University, and Boston College, among others. In addition, she earned Professional Certificates in Conflict Transformation at the Boston Theological Institute, and in Mediation and Conflict Resolution through the Woodbury Institute at Champlain College. Michele has also studied systems theory and relational therapy at Antioch New England Graduate School, and has done further coursework in creative writing, communications, criminal justice, and law.
Michele is professionally trained as a narrative ethicist, therapist, chaplain, and mediator. She currently works as a practitioner and freelance writer. Recognition for her work includes a Quill award for an international short story contest, first place for a First Chapters Contest, Festival of the Arts Writer's World Award for creative non-fiction, and a scholarship for creative writing. She has also been selected to do a literary residency at Lit Camp, the joint venture between renowned Litquake and the San Francisco Writers' Grotto. Her non-fiction books include Stirred Not Shaken, Living Proof, and Spirit Wellness. She also has a new work of fiction coming out. Michele is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer, and blogs at "Naked Spirit Blog." One unexpected claim to fame: she defeated the widow-maker twice in one week when she was 33-years old. Michele lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.