Biography of Mari Evans
Born on July 16, 1923, Mari Evans grew up in Toledo, Ohio. She attended the University of Toledo.
Among her books of poetry are A Dark and Splendid Mass (Harlem River Press, 1992), Nightstar: 1973-1978 (1981), I Am a Black Woman (1970), and Where Is All the Music? (1968). Her books for children include Dear Corinne, Tell Somebody! Love, Annie: A Book about Secrets (1999), Singing Black: Alternative Nursery Rhymes for Children (1998, illustrated by Ramon Price) Jim Flying High (1979, illustrated by Ashley Bryan), Rap Stories (1974), and J.D. (1973, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney).
She is also the author of the plays Eye (a 1979 adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God) and River of My Song (first produced in 1977).
She is a contributor to and an editor of the volume Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation (1984), and has taught at colleges and universities including Spelman College, Purdue University, and Cornell University.
Among her honors are fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the John Hay Whitney Fellowship. In 1997, she was celebrated with her photo on a Ugandan postage stamp.
Mari Evans lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Mari Evans Poems
I am a Black Woman
I am a black woman the music of my song some sweet arpeggio of tears is written in a minor key
Who Can Be Born Black?
Who can be born black and not sing
Where Have You Gone
Where have you gone with your confident walk with your crooked smile
. . . And the Old Women Gathered (The Go...
and the old women gathered and sang His praises standing resolutely together
When I die I'm sure I will have a