The VCFA years:
While at VCFA, Mary completed a Picture Book Intensive semester led by author Kathi Appelt. Culminating projects included Mary’s critical thesis “Lighting the Way: Picture Books about Tough Times and Resilience” and a panel presentation entitled “Let’s Pretend: Depictions of Pretend Play in Picture Books.” Mary’s poetry collection Trucks, Boots, and Bells: Firehouse Poems was awarded the 2010 Candlewick Picture Book Prize at VCFA.
Poetry for Children:
Mary’s poetry for children and teens has been featured on “Poetry Sunday” on WCAI-FM (Cape and Islands NPR station) and has been published in Ladybug magazine, YARN (Young Adult Review Network), the anthology Mistletoe Madness, and Amazing Faces, an anthology edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins (Lee and Low, 2010). In 2021-22, her poetry appeared in three anthologies: Things We Do; The 10-10 Poetry Anthology; and Rhyme and Rhythm: Poems for Student Athletes.
- “Black Lives Matter: Does Your Child’s Bookshelf Reflect the World?” Cape Cod Times, 2020
- “One Year On, Four Things You Can Do to Honor the Victims of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting.” Cognoscenti.com/WBUR-Boston. June 2017.
- “Parenting Through an R-Rated Presidential Campaign.” Cognoscenti.com/WBUR-Boston. November 5, 2016.
- Firefighter’s kid: Stories my father never told me – Cape Cod Times
- Op-Ed: Searching for My Sidekick – A Story of Pure Friendship – Shewired.com
“Resilience and Literacy: Building Two Strengths at Once.” Impact: The Journal of the NY State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. February 2012.
Poetry for Adults:
- “Starlite,” awarded Honorable Mention by poet Margie Piercy in Joe Gouveia Poetry Contest, 2022.
- “Ars Poetica, Bronx,” in The New York Times, 25 July 2021.
- “Studying Rachel Maddow in Provincetown,” in anthology Hashtag Queer Vol. 2, 2018.
- “Not in Kansas: Tribute to Rainbow Flag Creator Gilbert Baker,” Provincetown Magazine, June 2018.
- “We Know How to Do This,” in poetry anthology If You Can Hear This: Poems in Protest of an American Inauguration. Sibling Rivalry Press, January 2017.
Awards and Honors:
- Boston Authors Club, Discovery Award honorable mention, 2020.
- Candlewick Scholarship to Rainbow Writers Retreat, Writing Barn, Austin TX, 2019.
- Eileen Spinelli Scholarship, Highlights Foundation, for Menders, a middle-grade novel, 2017.
- Katherine Paterson Prize, Runner-Up, Hunger Mountain /Vermont College of Fine Arts, 2016.
- Local Cultural Council Grant for “Connecting Through Kids’ Books: a Prison Writing Project,” 2016.
- Finalist, Cape Cod Writers Center Writing Contest, Middle-Grade Fiction, 2016.
- Ruth Landers Glass Scholarship (fiction), New England Society of Children’s Book Writers, 2014.
- Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, Grant Recipient, Creative Writing at Barnstable County Correctional Facility, 2014.