If the Mango Tree Could Speak

Inviting Collaboration


  • Marge Pellegrino Owl & Panther


Owl & Panther’s first foray into collaborative poetry engaged intergenerational refugee participants from Central America who viewed the poignant film If the Mango Tree Could Speak by Patricia Goudvis. The film documented the stories of youth who, unlike the families participating in O&P, could not flee the violence in Guatemala and El Salvador.

Author Biography

Marge Pellegrino, Owl & Panther

Pellegrino, a teaching artist, has worked with diverse audiences for more than thirty years. She has led writing and art adventures for families of the incarcerated and journal respites for caregivers. She has taught poetry in juvenile detention centers and used creative writing prompts with cancer survivors on retreat. She has conducted residencies and staff trainings in rural and urban communities.  For twenty years, she facilitated programing for the Owl & Panther project, which serves refugee youth and families. Her innovative Word Journeys program had a twelve-year run at Pima County Public Library and won a White House Coming Up Taller Award for excellence in afterschool programing in 2009.  Her children’s book Too Nice is available in five languagesHer middle-grade novel Journey of Dreams was a Smithsonian Notable and Southwest Best Book, and her forthcoming Magination teen book Neon Words: 10 Brilliant Ways to Light Up Your Writing inspires others to empower themselves on the page. All proceeds from her book The Sculpture Speaks: A Refugee’s Story of Survival benefits the Owl & Panther project.






“The Mango Tree Would Tell the Truth”