Lawrence A. Perkins, 62, a poet, writer and former English teacher, died Saturday of a pulmonary embolism at Arlington Hospital.

Mr. Perkins came to this area in 1958 and worked as an editorial assistant. He taught English at the Bullis School in Silver Spring in the early 1960s and at the Emerson Institute here from 1965 to 1971.

In 1963, he joined the Prince George's County Health Department as a sanitarian and became housing sanitation inspector the following year.

Mr. Perkins, who lived in Falls Church, later worked as a technical writer and editor in this area.

During this time, he contributed poetry and articles to Catholic publications and wrote science fiction for a number of periodicals. He also contributed to the Saturday Evening Post and Analog Magazine.

He was born in Jacksonville, Fla., and graduated from Florida State University in Tallahassee.

From 1945 to 1955, he served with the Army Counterintelligence Corps in Europe. He then taught at an Army school in Georgia until moving to this area in 1958.

Mr. Perkins was a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, the Metropolitan MENSA and the MM Society. He was active in St. James Catholic Church in Falls Church, where he served as a lecturer and choir member.

His first marriage to the former Cornelia Edmundson ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy, of the home; three sons by his first marriage, Lawrence A., of North Hills, Pa., Karl E., of Philadelphia, and John K., of Frankfurt, West Germany; a half brother, Louis Peck, of Jacksonville, and two grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the children's Hospital National Medical Center.