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Mary Ellen McAnally Edit Profile


Mary Ellen McAnally, American poet. Recipient Beaudoin prize for Poetry, 1978, Carl Sandburg poetry prize, 1979; National Endowment for Arts creative writing fellow, 1981-1982.


McAnally, Mary Ellen was born on January 21, 1939 in Vandalia, Illinois, United States. Daughter of Virgil Pafford McAnally and Mary Frances (Handy) Ruble.


Bachelor, University Tulsa, 1962. Bachelor's Degree, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1965. Master of Arts, Columbia University, 1968.

Doctor of Education, Columbia University, 1968. Postgraduate in journalism and creative writing, New School for Social Research, 1969—1970. Master of Divinity, Phillips Theological Seminary, 1990.


Assistant to chaplain Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1963. Director Christian education 1st Presbyterian Church, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, 1963. Administrative assistant Office Student World Relations, United Presbyterian Church in United States of America, New York City, 1965—1969.

Instructor African studies Spelman College, Atlanta, 1967. Counselor for Vietnam veterans Staten Island Community College, 1969—1970. Research associate Clergy Concerned About Vietnam, New York City, 1970—1972.

Instructor black studies Upward Bound Program, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri, 1972. Volunteers in Service to America supervisor Legal Services Organization, Indianapolis, 1972—1973. Senior citizens supervisor Indianapolis Settlements, Inc., 1973—1974.

State education supervisor Associate Migrant Opportunity Services, Inc., Indianapolis, 1974—1975. Director Suburban South Young Women’s Christian Association, Bloomington, Minnesota, 1975—1977. Director Women's Center, Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry, 1977—1978.

Poet-in-prisons for Oklahoma Arts and Humanities Council and Institution Programs, 1978—1984. Research associate assistant director National Indian Child Abuse and Neglect/Resource Center, Tulsa, 1979—1980. State coordinator Head Start, Claremore, 1980—1981.

State director Oklahoma Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights, 1981—1990. Dean of students Oklahoma Junior College, 1986—1987. Director corrections ministry Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry, 1992—2000.

Director Osage Hills Apartments Ministry, 2000—2002. Chaplain Trinity Hospice, 2002—2003, Oxford Health Service, since 2003. With Girling Health Service, since 2003.



Volunteer counselor, organizer, teacher organizations, New York City, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Tulsa. Pastor Westminster Presbyterian Church, Tulsa, 1987—1992, Unitarian Universalist Church, Bartlesville, United Universalist Church, Stillwater, 1997—2000. Chaplain Hillcrest Hospital, Tulsa, since 1990.

Researcher, minister West Africa, 1961, South Africa, 1968, Central American, 1990. Counselor, board member Harriet Tubman Shelter, Minneapolis, Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Tulsa. Organizer, president Open Door Arts Cooperative.

Board member Individual Artists Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, 1982—1984. Board directors, volunteer Animal Aid, Community Service Council, Tulsa Interfaith Alliance and others. Member, organizer Poets for Peace, Artists Call, Tulsa Poetry Alliance, Tulsa Peace Fellowship, Pastors for Peace, numerous others.

Member of National Writers Union (national executive board 1983-1985, state organizer Oklahoma 1982-1984).


Married Etheridge Knight, June 11, 1973. Children: Mary Tandiwe, Etheridge Bambata.

Virgil Pafford McAnally Ruble

Mary Frances (Handy) Ruble

Etheridge Knight

Mary Tandiwe McAnally

Etheridge Bambata McAnally