Mary Jane Ryals: Poet Laureate

About Mary Jane Ryals

Mary Jane Ryals hails from the Tallahassee area of North Florida. She lives in the woods just east of Tallahassee on the natural watershed of the area. She's the Poet Laureate of the Big Bend of Florida from 2009-2012. She's a novelist, short story writer and a poet who also teaches writing at Florida State University in the Management Department. She also offers creative writing classes through OLLI at the Pepper Institute and gives various workshops. Cookie & Me is her first novel about a cross-racial friendship in the turbulent 1960s. The Moving Waters is a collection of her poems. She won the Florida chapbook contest in 2006 for Music in Arabic. She has a  textbook Getting into the Intercultural Groove and a short story collection A Messy Job. She's currently working on a mystery set in the panhandle of Florida's Forgotten Coast. She's the fiction editor for Apalachee Review. She's married to the writer Michael Trammell, who also won the Florida chapbook contest in 2008, teaches in the Management Department at FSU, and is managing editor of the Apalachee Review. Mary Jane has been a recipient of the Florida Arts Council Individual Artist award and was a University Fellow at Florida State where she received her PhD. She's just been commissioned, with Susan Stelzmann, to install the first ceramic-poetry wall on the Gaines Street Revitalization Project. Her son Dylan teaches Permaculture and works as a dry stone mason in Asheville, NC. Her daughter Ariel will graduate from SAIL High School this year as Best & Brightest in Drama, and begins community college to become a school teacher in Drama. Mary Jane and Michael teach in Valencia, Spain most summers. 

email: mryals@cob.fsu.edu

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