Mary Stone Hanley

Hanley - Cover - 9781681143941-Perfect

Road Trip: (Softcover: $15, 68pp, 6X9”: ISBN: 978-1-68114-394-1; Hardcover: $30: ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-395-8; EBook: $2.99: ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-396-5; LCCN: 2017915102; Author’s and Cover Photos by Will Hanley III; Poetry—Subjects & Themes—Death, Grief, Loss; Release: October 1, 2017): Mary Stone Hanley’s debut collection of poems, a journey at the same time physical, historical, and spiritual. While it travels through the realms of childhood and approaching death, it also plots the way along the road from Civil Rights, to the Black Arts Movement, to avant-garde jazz of the 1960s, and the Black Lives Matter movement of contemporary times. In a stirring section essential to the message of her poetry, the author “translates” John Coltrane’s Love Supreme into verse, culminating with a resounding “Thank you, God,” spoken in unison by the jazz great and the poet herself. As her passing approaches, the speaker of these poems doesn’t flinch at endings: but her affirmations move like her poetry toward openings and possibility. “No matter how the dream may go,” she writes in the final poem, “Dialectically Speaking,” “there is no end/ no last.” Road Trip is a journey that disappears into the vanishing point, recognizing along the way that past, future and even existence itself is defined by who is looking and what one chooses to acknowledge. With a clear eye and with the poise and cadence of a master, Mary Stone Hanley guides us to the trail’s end, where witness and compassion become the measure of a life.

Mary Stone Hanley, Ph.D., is a playwright, poet, educator, scholar and researcher. As a playwright, she has written nine plays for young people and two screenplays produced as films. She wrote and produced “The Name Game” in the 2013 DC Black Theater Festival and a revised version in the 2014 Capital Fringe Festival facilitated by grants from the D.C. Arts and Humanities Commission. Her plays, “Street Life” and “Sunshine and Rain,” have been chosen for readings by The African Continuum Theatre, Black Theatre Festival, Inkwell Theater and Spooky Action Theater. She has also been a member of the Black Women Playwrights’ Group. She began her theater life as an adolescent at Karamu House in Cleveland, Ohio, attended Syracuse University (majoring in Drama), and received a B.A in Children’s Drama at the University of Washington. She has a M.Ed. in Educational Communications (emphasis in television and film) and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in Multicultural Education and Drama from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. In 2017, she graduated with an MFA in poetry writing from American University. Road Trip is her first book of poetry.

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