Mary Freericks is a prize-winning poet with publications in anthologies including To Give Life a Shape, For She is the Tree of Life, Poetry in the Garden, and Armenian-American Poets. She has taught poetry both for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and California Poet in the Schools as well as in service courses to teachers in New Jersey, New York, and California. She has led workshops for the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Foundation. Her poetry readings include Distinguished Poets Series, William Carlos Williams Poetry Center, International Women’s Writers, Armenian Students’ Association, and the Karpeles Manuscript Library.
Mary, a prize wining poet, “bristles on the high heels of courage.” Her honest images of herself as an Armenian-Russian young girl in Tabriz and later Tehran as she tries to keep up with her older brothers and be discrete under the rule of the Shah is startlingly revealing. She has an M.F.A in poetry from Columbia University and has been featured in the New York Times.
Cheer for Freedom by Mary Freericks a continuation of her first book of narrative poems about her childhood in Iran is now available on Amazon. This is a larger book including Mary’s paintings of her Armenian and Russian family sensitively executed in an impressionistic manner. This book focuses on the strength of family especially the women’s support of each other from great-grandmother to great-granddaughter as illustrated in a cheerleading column.
Mary Freericks pens the story of her artist mother as told in poems from Russia to Iran to America as Sonia Avakian paints her way from the life as the daughter of a university professor in post-tsarist Russia to that of the wife of a Persian rug exporter in ancient Iran to that of a widowed single-mother raising three children outside of New York City. The poems continue through Sonia's eventual loss of vision and dependence on her daughter for survival, examining how the life of a parent guides and tears at one even past death.
©Mary Freericks 2021