Color headshot of Emily P.G. Erickson at a lookout at Tettegouche State Park, Minnesota. Emily P.G. Erickson is wearing a bright orange coat, blue hat, and is smiling right at the camera. Behind her are white pines dotted with snow and gray Lake Superior.
Emily at Tettegouche State Park, MN in early March 2020.

Emily P.G. Erickson grew up in Barrington, Illinois. Since she was very little, Emily has loved to ask big questions. One of her favorites is, “How can we live more peacefully on the planet and with each other?” Emily hopes to live her whole life in service of answering that one.

Emily spent a formative semester studying abroad in northeast Thailand, where she learned about mindfulness and community development. While there, she began practicing Vipassana meditation under the tutelage of monks of the Thai Forest Tradition. After she returned to the United States, Emily graduated magna cum laude from Macalester College, where she won the Walter D. Mink Endowed Prize in geography, the Hildegard Binder Johnson Prize in psychology, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

The Monday after graduation, Emily began working in urban planning in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Because Emily is a quick learner and skillful communicator, she was promoted four times in three years. Emily spent her last years at the city as its first Sustainable Transportation Planner, where she diffused emotionally intense situations and built community consensus around biking, walking, and transit.

After nearly five years with the city, Emily left to attend graduate school for counseling psychology at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. At St. Thomas, Emily excelled as a writing instructor, clinical psychology teaching assistant, and President of the Graduate Student Organization. Prior to becoming a writer, Emily also worked as a psychotherapist for a community-based clinic and mental health researcher for the federal government.

When people ask Emily how she reconciles her work in geography and psychology, she tells them that both are about space — the space outside of your head and the space inside of it — and how those spaces intersect. In her professional life, Emily has worked to make sense of the worlds inside and outside of us. Her writing today reflects this longtime fascination and contemplates the big questions she has always loved.

Emily’s thoughtful, compassionate writing about culture, mental health, mindfulness, and motherhood has been featured in Motherly, Scary Mommy, Motherwell, and more. Emily lives in Minnesota with her husband and children.

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