Marika Pineda was born in the South but was raised in Oregon, with stints in San Diego, Hawaii, and rural Maryland. After traveling to Tennessee (with banjo) to get reacquainted with her father at the age of 22, she returned to Portland and began studies at community college, going on to earn a B.A. in English at University of Oregon, where she graduated magna cum laude.
In 1989 she entered the MFA program in creative writing at University of Washington, focusing on the short story form with Lois Hudson as a mentor. While in graduate school she worked at a consulting firm and accidentally became a technical editor.
As an amateur naturalist she has hiked hundreds of miles in the Cascades. As an amateur historian she has cranked through miles of microfilm in search of her family roots. Her work has been published in Ambergris, Bellowing Ark, Bloomsbury Review, The Open Bone, The Drifter, KotaPress Anthology 2000, David’s Place-An AIDS Experience Journal, and Chrysanthemum. A recently completed historical essay is under review by the Journal of Mississippi History. She helps raise her stepdaughter and a vociferous cairn terrier in a household named The Home for Wayward Muses.