Mary Clark is a Baltimore City native, a fifth-generation Baltimorean. She had the great privilege to attend Western High School, and is shaped by the teachers and young women from that formative experience. After graduate school, she returned to the city and taught writing in the area for five years before moving to Massachusetts for an employment opportunity. While working as a professional writer for corporations, she continued her fiction and poetry, waking early to write for a few hours before rushing to work.
At last, in 2018, Mary stopped writing for corporations, stopped cutting-short her own writing, stopped fitting it in around her day‑job, and returned to Baltimore. She missed her northern-most‑southern roots and the diverse voices resonating everywhere, from the culture to the yoga studio. She now lives in Mount Vernon, where she works exclusively on her art.
Mary earned and MFA in Poetry from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has published her poems and short stories in elite literary magazines. In the last two decades she took a pause from publishing shorter works, and her craft focused on literary novels; she has completed three novel-length manuscripts, is working on a fourth, and seeking publication of the third.
Mary learned how to write novels by writing novels. She brings her poetry training to her prose. Her novels are lyrically voiced, big stories, with high stakes and love affairs at their core. The long form allows for the scope to include the social culture surrounding characters, widening the frame, and inviting readers to struggle with the messiness of life.
The New England Review recently posted an interview on Mary’s 25 year gap in publishing her work. Those underground years were not because “life got in the way,” but rather because “life got in the writing.” You can read the interview here.