Margaret Hermes grew up in Chicago and now lives in St. Louis. Though she has enjoyed international travel and several years of living in the eastern United States, she is a Midwesterner at her core. Her stories, short and long, portray individuals in a web of relationships set in a multiplicity of milieus. Characters range from an Alfa Romeo-driving sheriff to an amateur apiologist to the virgin martyr Maria Goretti. Her settings include a town in Missouri’s Bootheel, a hotel on Lake Como in northern Italy, a farm in South Carolina, a village in Eastern Europe, Manhattan’s Waldorf Astoria, and a courthouse in Alaska. Her fiction, like the author, roams the world and, in doing so, comes close to home.
Stories by Margaret Hermes have been widely published in university journals and literary magazines. Her published/performed work includes the mystery novel, The Phoenix Nest, a stage adaptation of an Oscar Wilde fable, The Birthday of the Infanta, and numerous short stories and essays. Her story collection, Relative Strangers, won the Doris Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman and was awarded an unprecedented Second Place in the 2012 Balcones Fiction Prize competition.
Equal parts writer and environmental activist, Margaret Hermes has also written about the dangers of radioactive wastes and worked for the preservation of parkland. Her work with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment includes editing the organization’s cookbook, Eating Lightly, and curating their triennial art auction, eARThworks. From her base in St. Louis, she continues to work on behalf of a better built environment as well as for clean streams and the protection of wilderness areas.