Larina Warnock was born Larina Baumgartner on September 8, 1976 in Tacoma, Washington. Growing up, Larina moved all over the country, attending more than 20 schools in 4 states. She doesn’t believe in statistics. At 16, she had her first child and was told her chances of finishing high school were next to none. An Honor’s student, she dropped out two months before graduation, giving up a number of scholarships including one to an Ivy League school. She started her first marriage at age 17. It ended poorly, but she went back to high school, earned her diploma, and went on to graduate from Eastern Oregon University in 2004 as a member of PINNACLE, a national honor’s society for non-traditional students. In 2012, she graduated from Saint Xavier University with a M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction.
Inspired by her own children, Larina went on to teach English and drama to students with emotional and behavioral disabilities in a rural school district in Idaho. After recognizing that her children did not have access to the opportunities they needed to thrive, Larina moved to Oregon with her family. She has served as an advocate for children with all levels and forms of disabilities and has provided support to their families and disability-related organizations.
She is actively involved in her community and currently serves as President of Writers on the River. She co-founded and edited The Externalist: A Journal of Perspectives, served as a moderator and as site administrator for The Academy of American Poets online discussion forum, is a member of Sunrisers Kiwanis Club of Corvallis and Kappa Delta Pi. In addition, she has presented at various literary conferences in Washington and Oregon.
Larina writes poetry, fiction, personal essays, and is working on a novel. Her chapbook, Guitar without Strings, is available from The Lives You Touch Publications.