The Poetry of Mary K O'Melveny




Mary K O’Melvenya retired labor rights lawyer, lives with her wife Susan in Woodstock, NY and in Washington DC.  Inspirations for poetry abound in both locations as well as the larger universe. Mary’s writings address personal and political themes and often draw on themes drawn from the cosmos, mythology as well as the natural world. 


Mary's poetry has appeared in many print and on-line journals and anthologies, including Allegro Poetry Journal, Split Rock Review, Voice of Eve, The New Reader, FLARE: The Flagler Review, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Raven’s Perch, Global Poemic, Slippery Elm Literary Journal, Songs of Eretz, Into the Void, Passages Literary Journal (Pandemic Diaries), The Offbeat, The Voices Project, Aji Magazine and West Texas Review.  


Mary's poetry has also been featured frequently on national blog sites, including The New Verse News and Writing In A Woman's Voice. Her work has received award recognition in national and international poetry contests, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  


Author of A WOMAN OF A CERTAIN AGE and MERGING STAR HYPOTHESES  (Finishing Line Press 2018, 2020), she is also a co-author of the anthology AN APPLE IN HER HAND (Codhill Press 2019). Mary's newest poetry collection DISPATCHES FROM THE MEMORY CARE MUSEUM will be published in September 2021 by Kelsay Books. 


Mary's poetry awards include First Place in the 2017 Raynes Poetry Competition, First Place in the 2019 Slippery Elm Journal Poetry Competition, First Place in the 2020 City Limits Publishing Political Poetry Competition and Finalist or Honorable Mentions in the 2017 Pangaea Prize sponsored by The Poets Billow, 2018 and 2019 Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Competition and the 87th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition (Non-Rhyming Poetry). Mary was short-listed for the 2018 Fish Publishing Prize and a Finalist for the 2020 Anthology Magazine Poetry Prize (her poem was “Highly Commended” by the Judge). Her book MERGING STAR HYPOTHESES was a Finalist for the Washington Prize sponsored by The Word Works


Mary’s work also appears in themed poetry anthologies, including Birds Piled Loosely Press “Who Want the World Like It Is?”-An Election Anthology (January 2017), Origami Poems Project, “BEST OF KINDNESS” ANTHOLOGY (2017), “Borders and Boundaries” (Blue Threads Press (2017), “Awake In the World, Volume II”  Riverfeet Press(2019); Art In The Time of COVID-19 (San Fedele Press), “Poems From The Lockdown” (Willowdown Press 2020); “Poems of Political Protest” (City Limits Publishing 2021).


Mary is a member of the Hudson Valley Women’s Writing Group,           a longstanding writing collective based in upstate New York (https://www.hudsonvalleywomenswritinggroup.comwhich meets regularly, conducts readings and has published an anthology  “An Apple In Her Hand” (Codhill Press January 2019).  Mary is also a member of the American Academy of Poets as well as other writing organizations. Her listing in the Poets & Writers Directory may be found at


Mary’s poetry chapbook, “A Woman of a Certain Age,” was published in September 2018 by Finishing Line Press. Her poetry collection “MERGING STAR HYPOTHESES” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2020 (add ordering info/link).  The anthology, “An Apple In Her Hand” (Codhill Press January 2019) may be ordered at  Her collection “Dispatches From the Memory Care Museum” will be available from Kelsay Books in the fall of 2021.  


Mary is working on two new poetry collections: “FLIGHT. REIMAGINED” and “PERTURANCES.” She is also compiling a chapbook based on poetry written during and about the pandemic.








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