When Mary Avidano left her childhood home, a farm in Nebraska, to enter a convent in Chicago, she was fifteen years of age. At age twenty-seven she left the sisterhood to marry. Later still, she became a pastor in the United Church of Christ. Although now retired from the ministry, Mary is “again preaching,” as she continues to assist her husband Raymond in his pastoral work.
To learn more about Mary’s early life, see her latest book, IN THE HOUSE OF I AM: a Memoir, released in September, 2014. While the book is dedicated to Mary’s grandchildren, she does not expect all of them to read it just yet.
Mary has a degree in English from Loyola University of Chicago. She saw her first poem published in 2004, when she was in her fifties. Four years later, she published a poetry chapbook called THE ZEBRA’S FRIEND & OTHER POEMS. It will soon be out of print. Her poems have appeared also in NEBRASKA LIFE, HIDDEN OAK POETRY JOURNAL, HARP-STRINGS POETRY JOURNAL, SILVER WINGS POETRY JOURNAL—and most recently in the online poetry journal 5 X 5. Four of Mary’s poems are included in THE UNTIDY SEASON, an anthology of Nebraska women poets, published by The Backwaters Press in 2013. One of Mary’s poems was featured in “American Life in Poetry” in 2014. She hopes to have her second poetry collection ready for publication soon.
Mary and her husband Ray live at Elgin, Nebraska.