Margot Boyer

Margot Boyer


B.A., The Evergreen State College, 1986
M.F.A., Goddard College, 2000


Blog: Restoring Paradise


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Biographical Note

Margot F. Boyer is a writer, poet, and educator whose interests include sustainable communities, social justice, organic gardening, and beekeeping. Margot lives on an island in Puget Sound with her husband Bob and several cats. She teaches English, literature, and integrated studies at North Seattle Community College.

Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment

Publication Type


Latest Publication Title

Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment: A Developmental Model to Liberate Everyone, Cuetzpalin, 2010

Publication Excerpt

From Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment By Leticia Nieto with Margot F Boyer and Liz Goodwin, Garth R. Johnson, and Laurel Collier Smith:

Wouldn’t it be great if we could read a book and through its pages come to full consciousness? Have you ever given a book or movie or article to someone else and they didn’t read it? Or, they read it, saw it, heard it, but it didn’t have the same impact on them as you hoped it would? Oppression is difficult to talk about, to explain, to understand. Language fails us. The models and methods in Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment rely on the associative, imaginal, metaphoric mind. Images can be more complete than words alone. They can bypass barriers to understanding through mechanisms like resonance – that sense that something fits or rings true. You’ll notice that this book uses many metaphors to talk about oppression. Oppression is described as a river that flows only one way, yet it’s also an ocean that fills every part of the world with its cold, salty water. Oppression feels like a birdcage that holds Target group members inside a small container, but it’s also like a suit of clothes that Agent group members wear. Oppression can be like “the Matrix,” (Wachowski & Wachowski, 1999) an inhuman system that sucks life force from people and uses it to destroy the earth, and it can be a theatrical role that requires people to play different parts. Metaphors offer glimpses, sometimes indirect, of what oppression is like. No one metaphor says it all. The choice of metaphors – in a training setting, for example – is a function of timing, the emergence of co-created meanings in the moment, somatic signals given by participants, and many other elements. Hold and use the metaphors gently. You will likely have some favorites and will surely evolve many of your own. Our human capacities for understanding are enormous. When we use only our literal, sequential, narrowly rational mind, we understand ideas in a linear, narrow way. Using this mind, we check if things are true or false, real or made-up. We can’t help but check concepts against our own lived experience. When we use more of our mind’s capacities, we are available to deep feeling, vivid imagination, and insights that encompass much more than true/false. We can even hope to glimpse realities well outside our own lived experience. Metaphor, imagery, and story allow us to access these larger and wider ways of knowing. We invite you to engage with these images and metaphors using all of your self.