Margaret Wright

Margaret Wright

Margaret Wright is a freelance journalist whose previous work has appeared at the Santa Fe New Mexican, New Mexico Political Report, Santa Fe Reporter, KUNM News and Popula, among other local outlets now shuttered. Homesickness besets her if she’s outside of the high desert for too long.


Photo ops in hard hats during a behavioral health crisis that won’t let up

By: - October 4, 2022

Psychological distress can transmit and implant itself into our physical bodies, and for me, anxiety roils under my navel into a balled-up fist capable of squeezing life out of me— or at least anything well-ordered and reasonable I’ve cobbled together. It smashes plans to leave the house on time, sucks time into the anxiety’s gasping […]


Ballroom Blitz: High gloss couldn’t shine up Tomi Lahren’s dim rhetoric at UNM

By: - September 26, 2022

Alex Jones arguably set the rhetorical standard for Trumpist blowhards: Pontificate from a gut of roiling bile, as if facing off against a snarling mortal enemy. One of my friends onlooking as I watched Fox News commentator Tomi Lahren in an inaccuracy-riddled video she broadcast about her restive guest appearance last week at the University […]


Analysis: No election fraud detected so far in messy Otero County audit

By: - May 11, 2022

Election-deniers probing 2020 results in Otero County updated elected officials there this week on the status of their voter audit, which recently sparked a congressional investigation into its legality.  The evening’s heated conversation centered on the fragile state of contemporary democratic processes, but opening Monday night’s crowded special meeting of the Otero County Commission in […]

Cerro Pelado fire a grim reprise, tearing through the Las Conchas burn scar

By: - May 4, 2022

Smoke cast an eerie, sepia-toned filter over Los Alamos, N.M., late Monday afternoon as a community meeting was called to order at the county headquarters. Officials from multiple agencies convened to update the public about the fight against the Cerro Pelado fire in the Jemez Mountains. More than 22,000 acres have already burned since April […]

NM Republicans inflate curricula fears at education hearing

By: - May 2, 2022

The purpose of a presentation Thursday by New Mexico Public Education Department officials for members of a legislative committee was straightforward: Provide a detailed update about proposed revisions of statewide K-12 social studies standards. But that agenda item veered quickly into a passionate exchange between Democratic lawmakers, who applauded the changes, and Republican representatives gripped […]

Leaders in tribal education center language preservation

By: - April 29, 2022

Except for towers of smoke from the Cerro Pelado wildfire billowing over the horizon, Wednesday was a perfectly clear, mild spring morning in the mountain valley where New Mexico lawmakers visiting Jemez Pueblo were greeted by several of the tribe’s educational leaders.  Surveying the distant smoke from an overlook, Democratic state Sen. Benny Shendo, Jr., […]


Dispatches from the Q-fevered anti- “abortion capital”

By: - December 1, 2021

Most people regard the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory with either dismay or dismissal. Yet the depth and breadth of its reach has taken on bleak salience during this moment in history.  What began as ambiguous, nameless postings signed “Q” on unmoderated message board websites that host anything from anime fandom and fitness advice to child […]


ABQ police union president makes a compelling case for defunding the department

By: - November 9, 2021

Fall 2021 election season peaked, then dark-valleyed last week as pundits scurried to draw broader implications from local races. Much of that centered on initiatives spurred by the movement to defund police in favor of funding for public programs for preventing and repairing harms that feed the U.S. prison industry. A lot of attention fell […]


Decline an invitation to any party eating its own

By: - October 12, 2021

I tune into local right-wingers. Radio, socials, blogs. For me, an intake of diverse viewpoints, including extremist ones, is crucial background research. It’s also a civics exercise. Careful doses of even the most rank propaganda can modulate one’s own knee-jerk impulses, craft relevant lines of inquiry, hone protective instincts. I see it as a kind […]

299 evacuees from Afghanistan destined for NM resettlement

By: - September 30, 2021

Tens of thousands of Afghans will have their first real glimpse of the U.S. at hastily constructed encampments on military bases across the country with active-duty soldiers overseeing operations.  The sandy, jet engine-raked Tularosa Basin is now one of those official entryways for scores of Afghans, many of them children, who had to flee their […]

Another difficult journey

By: - September 13, 2021

Mahboob Pannah remembers well the fresh shock awaiting up to 400 refugees and asylum-seekers — many of them families — due to be resettled in New Mexico in the wake of the U.S. military departure from Afghanistan.  Before her own visa application was approved and she finally joined her husband in Albuquerque in 2002, Pannah […]