Buck was born December 13, 1947 in Midland, Texas, the daughter of Louis Buck, an Episcopalian minister. Her mother was a nurse; both are deceased. The family was active in the civil rights movement; when Dr. Buck opposed segregation at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, picketed, and harshly criticized the bishop, crosses were burned on their lawn and he was removed as minister from the congregation of St. James in Austin, Texas, a congregation which had been integrated by the previous clergyman and his family. Dr. Buck returned to his veterinarian career, from which he had entered the clergy, to support his family.
Buck attended the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Texas at Austin, graduating from New College of California while incarcerated. She subsequently earned a master's degree in Poetics from New College.
In 1973, Buck was convicted on two counts of purchasing (otherwise legal) ammunition using false identification and sentenced to ten years in prison. In 1977 Buck was given a furlough from prison and went underground instead of returning.
Support for the New Afrikan Independence Movement
In 1979, Assata Shakur, who had been convicted of killing a policeman, escaped from a New Jersey prison with help from a number of associates outside. In 1983, Buck was recaptured and convicted of participating in Shakur's escape.
Along with a number of BLA members and supporters, Buck was convicted of conspiracies to commit armed robbery in the Brinks robbery of 1981 in which a guard and two police officers were killed. She allegedly drove the getaway car as well as helping to obtain a safe house and weapons. During the investigation into the armed robbery and killings, investigators found weapons and papers in an apartment in East Orange, New Jersey rented by "Carol Durant", an alias of Buck.
Papers there led police to an address in Mount Vernon, New York, where they found bloody clothing and ammunition belonging to Buck. Earlier in 1981, Buck participated in a similar armed robbery of a Brinks truck in the Bronx, during which one of the guards was murdered. The bloodied clothes were from her participation in the armed robbery, in which Buck attempted to draw her weapon and shot herself in the leg.
In 1985, Buck and six others were convicted in the Resistance Conspiracy case, a series of bombings in protest of United States foreign policy in the Middle East and Central America.
The May 12, 1988 indictment described the goal of the conspiracy as being "to influence, change and protest policies and practices of the United States Government concerning various international and domestic matters through the use of violent and illegal means" and charged the seven with bombing the United States Capitol building, three military installations in the Washington D.C. area, and four sites in New York City. Warnings were called in and no one was injured. The Capitol was targeted in retaliation for recent U.S. military invasions of Grenada and Lebanon. The military sites bombed were the National War College at Fort McNair, the Washington Navy Yard Computer Center, and the Washington Navy Yard Officers Club. In New York City, the Staten Island Federal Building, the Israeli Aircraft Industries Building, the South African consulate, and the offices of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association were bombed or targeted. Six of those charged in the case have since been released from prison and one was never captured.
She published her poetry in journals, anthologies, a chapbook, and an audio CD. She received a PEN American Center prize for poetry in 2001. Her poems appeared in the anthologies Hauling Up the Morning,Wall Tappings,Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth,Seeds of Fire, and in her chapbook, Rescue the Word. Her poems appear on the audio CD Wild Poppies (Freedom Archives 2004).
^ abShenon, Philip (1988-05-12). "U.S. Charges 7 In the Bombing At U.S. Capitol". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-01. Seven members of a group describing itself as a "Communist politico-military organization" were charged today with the 1983 bombing of the Capitol and attacks on several other buildings, including at least four in New York City, according to the Justice Department.
^Day, Susie. "Cruel but Not Unusual: The Punishment of Women in U.S. Prisons. An Interview with Marilyn Buck and Laura Whitehorn", Monthly Review July–August 2001. Reprinted in Joy James, ed., NeoSlave Narratives: Prison Writing and Abolitionism. SUNY Press, 2004. [www.monthlyreview.org]
^Buck, Marilyn. "Incommunicado: Dispatches from a Political Prisoner" in Joy James, editor, Imprisoned Intellectuals: America's Political Prisoners Write on Life, Liberation, and Rebellion. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003. ISBN0-7425-2027-7. [marilynbuck.com]
^Buck, Marilyn. "Prisons, Social Control and Political Prisoners", Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict & World Order, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2000. A fuller version is at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2010-04-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Buck, Marilyn. 2008. Introduction and translation in Peri Rossi (2008).
Buck, Marilyn, Laura Whitehorn, and Susie Day. 2001. "An Interview with Marilyn Buck and Laura Whitehorn: Cruel But Not Unusual: The Punishment of Women in U.S. Prisons". Reprinted in the Wayland Faculty Seminar 2003-2004, Incarceration, Narrative, and Performance. Rhode Island: Brown University. Retrieved March 26, 2008 from Incarceration ... - Narratives: Prison Interviews.