Mari Evans

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Mari EvansMari Evans, born on July 16, 1923 in Toledo, Ohio, is a woman of many roles-poet, playwright, storyteller, screenwriter, television producer, college professor, editor, a member of many Associations, and a mother of two sons, William and Derek. She studied fashion design at the University of Toledo.

From 1969 to 1990 she was a college professor at many colleges teaching African American literature and writer in residence. During this time she also wrote poetry, children's books, and anthology or critical essays on black women. In 1968 she published her first volume of poetry called, Where Is All the Music? In 1970 she published her second poetry collection called, I Am a Black Woman, which brought her attention from all communities and an award for the most distinguished book of poetry.

In addition to poetry she has written plays, essays, and short fiction storied. From 1968 to 1973 she was the producer, director and writer for the television program "The Black Experience" which was showed in Indianapolis, Indiana.

She choreographed versions of two of her plays, A Hand Is on the Gate and Walk Together Children, which have had successful off-Broadway runs. She has written many books for children such as, Look At Me! (1974), Singing Black (1976), and Jim Flying High (1979). From 1950 to 1980 she edited an anthology called, Black Women Writers.

Mari Evens has also served as a consultant to several organizations. From 1969 to 1970 she worked with the Discovery Grant Program for the National Endowment for the Arts. She also served as a consultant in ethnic studies for the Bobbs-Merrill Publishing Company from 1970 to 1973.

Her work has been widely been put together in collections and textbooks, and her poems have appeared in several different languages including German, Swedish, French and Dutch.

Sources Dictionary of Literary Biography, edited by Truidier Harris and Thadious M. Davis, Gale Research, 1985 Contemporary Poets, St. James Press, 1980