San Jose, CA
Mary Kennedy Eastham, M.A., MFA has had the good fortune of growing up in a small New England town. She spread her wings and moved to New York City, San Francisco and Malibu which is where many of her stories took shape.
Her book, The Shadow of a Dog I Can’t Forget, now in its Fifth Printing, was a 2011 WILD CARD winner in the Hollywood Book Festival and a 2010 Celebrity Achiever Award winner by the National League of American Pen Women. Her poem ‘Points of Love’ a Top Ten winner in the 2012 Poetry Superhighway Contest.
Her award-winning poetry and short stories have appeared in over 75 books, magazines, small presses and e-zines in the United States and abroad. The publishing list includes ‘Glamour’ magazine, Paris Transcontinental, the Circle Magazine, THE BEST of Map of Austin Poetry, the Paterson Literary Review, Poetry Superhighway, muse apprentice guild, Pearl magazine and the Red Rock Review to name a few. She has been awarded over $25,000 in Literary Awards. Her work has received a Chekhov Award, an Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and she is a two-time award winning recipient of Literary Grants from the ARTS COUNCIL SILICON VALLEY.
Mary calls herself a Word Actress letting her characters perform different roles on paper which is of course weaving her own needs, her own fantasies, her love, her loss and her joy into the poems and short stories she writes. She is currently finishing up “Channeling Ava Gardner”, the last story in her short story collection The Possibilities of Love, and is excited to be close to finishing her first novel Night Surfing.
Mary’s life has been filled with confusion, chaos, fun and love. She lives in San Jose, California with her beautiful Golden Retrievers.
What did the Fellowship or Laureate mean to you at the time you received it?
My first grant from you meant EVERYTHING to me! (I have received two - YAY!) There was a shift in my belief in myself. I KNEW I was a writer.
What do you do now? Has your art evolved or changed?
I'm an ambitious creative artist. I'm a published author of two books - The Shadow of A Dog I Can't Forget and Squinting Over Water - Stories. I am the creator of two online courses: 30 Poems in 30 Days (PoWriMo) Prompts to Keep You Writing and How to Add Poetry's Pop To Your Writing. I see my life as a big artistic project. I Guest Blog monthly about writing. I challenge myself every day to be the best writer I can be. I genre hop from poetry to short stories to novel writing. I send my work out regularly to contests, winning many of them. I'm finishing up my novel The Girl With Sand in Her Hair and my book of poetic stories Beautiful Angel Goddess.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an emerging artist?
Passion and talent are a given for any creative field so have your way with your art. Work hard every day. Study the best so you can be that one day, too. And never give up. You'll get there, You will...
Briefly, how would you describe the state of the arts locally, as well as national and beyond?