Putting Words to Work for a Better World
"She is a woman of many passions!"
Emcee's Introduction of Anne McCrady
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Anne McCrady believes in life! With a wide range of interests and, yes, passions, it is no surprise that she fills every day with activity. A poet, writer, speaker, storyteller, naturalist, spiritualist, social activist as well as daughter, wife and mother, Anne welcomes every moment, believing that our lives are gifts meant to be shared with others. Anne's company, InSpiritry, was founded on that belief.
FOUNDER OF InSpiritry
In 2003, Anne was searching for a descriptor to include all her creative endeavors, something that would be evocative of her love of language and her belief in rekindling the creative spirit of individuals and organizations as a path to the Greater Good. The result was a coined word, InSpiritry®. Since registering it as her moniker, she has taken it as the name of her publishing house, her website and blogcast, her mission and her ministry.
As the founder and principal of her company, InSpiritry, Anne offers three product lines:
Inspirational presentations and keynotes
Workshops, seminars, retreats and conference facilitation
Poetry readings and storytelling performances
Compelling content for corporate, non-profit & worship materials
Mission Marketing™ consulting
Organizational story development
Small press publication of poetry, narrative & creative nonfiction
Support of uplifting, progressive writers
Print, Audio, Speaking & Web content
Kevin & the Seven Prayers and Along Greathouse Road audiobook
A lifelong lover of language and stories, whether in a conference hall or a classroom, a Sunday service or a museum gallery, Anne McCrady's compelling message of InSpiritry leads audiences to open their hearts, see the beauty as well as the needs around them, celebrate creative ideas, live courageously and be a source of good in the world. Able to combine instruction, inspiration and entertainment, Anne always gives audiences a hopeful perspective and food for thought.
Here are a few of the venues where Anne has appeared:
- Schools - Workshops, Storytellings, Readings, Chapel Talks, Graduations
- Colleges - Keynotes, Motivational Lectures, Readings, Workshops
- Churches & Synagogues - Sermons, Readings, Luncheons, Retreats, Dinners
- Literary Groups - Workshops, Readings, Reviews, Critiques
- Art Galleries, Museums & Libraries - Workshops, Readings, Fundraisers
- Civic Groups - Motivational Speeches, Readings, Storytellings
- Conferences - Seminars, Workshops, Keynotes, Readings, Emcee
- Funerals and Weddings - Commissioned Poems, Life Stories and Readings
- Non-Profit Organizations - Fundraisers, Volunteer Programs, Board Retreats
- Hospitals, Health Fairs - Storytelling, Motivational Speeches, Workshops
Anne especially enjoys opportunities to inspire audiences of all ages and contexts to see their lives as full of potential ways to make the world a better place.
|Anne in her Writing Studio
From her earliest recollections, Anne McCrady has been fascinated by language, reciting nursery rhymes as a toddler and writing poetry and stories as a child. As a teenager and later an adult, Anne continued to develop her poetry. In the past twenty years, her heartwarming stories, poems, essays and devotionals have been published in both online and print journals including Borderlands-Texas Poetry Review, Concho River Review, Red River Review, High Grade, Lilliput Review, Devo'Zine, Entre Nous, The Midwest Poetry Review, RE:AL, Mediphors, Sweet Annie and Sweet Pea Review, Aries, Di-verse-city, Poetry.com, The Touchstone, Suddenly, Langdon Review, Windhover, The Enigmatist, English in Texas, New Texas, Texas Review, Texas Poetry Calendar, Texas Observer, Voices Israel.
Anne's poetry and creative nonfiction have also been included in American and international anthologies such as: Essential Love; The Freedom Anthology; My Heart's First Steps; The Book of Hopes and Dreams; Miracles of Motherhood; Cup of Comfort for Single Mothers; Dog Blessings; Big Land, Big Sky, Big Hair; Cup of Comfort for a Better World -- and, in 2011, Agave; Under the Bridges of America; Improbable Worlds; and Wingbeats-Exercises & Practice in Poetry. Though varied in subject matter, Anne's work often examines the challenges, blessings and transformative process of "living with an open heart."
Anne's poetry has garnered many honors. Her Texas-inspired poetry collection, Along Greathouse Road, was the 2003 winner of the PST Edwin M. Eakin Book Publication Award sponsored by the Poetry Society of Texas. It was printed in 2004 by Eakin Press and is now available as a double CD audiobook produced by InSpiritry Publishers. Her peace manuscript, Under a Blameless Moon, won the Pudding House Chapbook Contest, a national competition that included a cash prize and publication in 2008. She has also won the coveted top poetry prizes of the Poetry Society of Texas, the Therese Lindsey Award, and the Founders Award offered by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. In 2011, her poem, "Directions to Peace," won the Burning Bush Poetry Prize.
Anne's newest poetry collection, Letting Myself In, will be published by Dos Gatos Press in early 2013. Both poignant and hopeful, these poems based on her interest in place explore the complex experiences of life in transition. With them, Anne invites readers to consider the role of memory in making choices, our latent expectations of the future and life's exhilarating, if sometimes disruptive, surprises.
A poem . . . begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. . . . emotion has found its thought and the thought finds words. —
As comfortable on stage as she is on the page, Anne welcomes opportunities to read her work and host other readers. She has authored many of the stories she shares in her storytellings and literary presentations. One of those stories, a simple, thought-provoking inspirational parable with included questions for discussion, Kevin and the Seven Prayers, is available as a small giftbook from InSpiritry Publishers. Anne's current writing projects include poetry collections, narratives for oral storytelling, children’s manuscripts, texts for worship, non-profit promotion and continuing political and social commentary.
Anne is a member of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, Academy of American Poets, the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Poetry Society of Texas, the Writers League of Texas. East Texas Writers Guild, the East Texas Writers Association, the Rusk County Poetry Society and the Rose Garden Poetry Society. As a way to encourage other poets, Anne serves as a councilor for the Poetry Society of Texas and coordinates an annual East Texas Poetry in Schools Contest. Anne is a frequent judge and critic for writers' groups, provides poetry book reviews to literary journals and offers poetry lessons and resources at InSpiritry and the East Texas Poetry websites.
Her writing honors include:
Besides the publications mentioned, Anne’s commentary and letters to the editor have appeared in major newspapers, magazines, newsletters and online sites, as well as on National Public Radio, Frontline, Fox News Radioand Air America.
Enthusiastic about peacemaking, progressive social change and spiritual exploration, Anne enjoys writing material for non-profit promotion, contemporary worship, corporate communication and mission-based marketing.
| The storytelling tradition that you bring from the South, I don't know where it arose, but it's still there. You can't go to the feed store, or the country courthouse without running into storytellers.
As a teenager, Anne discovered the power of storytelling and found that she enjoyed connecting with audiences through public speaking. That love of narrative and inspiration developed into a vocation. or nearly two decades, Anne has been delighting audiences with her East Texas accent and original storytelling, as she brings the magic of language and music to traditional, personal and original narratives. Equally comfortable on a back porch with friends, an amphitheater stage, a classroom floor or a conference platform, Anne keeps audiences spellbound with her energy and passion. Having been known to use her guitar, percussion instruments, scarves, puppet boxes, string figures and even dance steps to enliven her stories, each performance is a treat.
Anne has been a featured storyteller at:
- Rusk County Heritage Syrup Festival
- The Squatty Pines Storytelling Festival
- Azalea Tales Storytelling Festival
- The Texas Living History Day
- The Texas Storytelling Festival
- The National Storytelling Conference
As a storyteller, Anne is a member of the National Storytelling Network, the Tejas Storytelling Association and the East Texas Storytellers.
Not just a proponent of open-hearted living, but someone who tries to be a daily example, Anne has enjoyed community volunteer efforts, elected public office and mission outreach including serving the:
- Henderson Independent School District - Parent Teacher Group Officer, Strategic Planning Committee Member, Substitute Teacher, GT Committee Members, Bond Promotion Chair, Board of Trustees Member
- United Methodist Church - Christian Education Leader, Youth Coordinator, Mission Leader, Strategic Planning Committee Member, Capitol Campaign Design Chair, Event Planning, Founder - Contemporary Worship Service; Worship Design, Camp Counselor
- Rusk County Texas Scholar Program - Program Co-Founder, Presenter
- United Way - Volunteer, Speaker
- Junior Achievement - Volunteer, Local Director
Boys and Girls Club of Rusk County - Volunteer, Board Member, Resource Dev.
- YMCA - Board Member
- Rusk County Soccer Association - Coach, Volunteer
Habitat for Humanity - Volunteer
UMArmy Mission Camps - Volunteer, Adult Leader, Camp Director
Yates Park Back-to-School Project - Volunteer, Sponsor
Hospice groups - Inspirational Speaking, Promotional Campaign Chair
Rotary Clubs - Paul Harris Fellow; Cultural Arts Camp Honorary Chairman
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Tyler - Lay Speaker
Local Child Welfare Groups
- Volunteer, Speaker
Rusk County Democrats - Volunteer, Speaker
Prom Princess Project - Cofounder, Volunteer
- Depot Museum - Volunteer, Storyteller
Art of Peace Festival
(Belton, Tyler) - Cofounder, Poet, Sponsor, Volunteer
In partnership with her husband Mike, Anne’s philanthropy also extends to include various social, political, educational, medical, cultural and environmental groups as well as annual scholarships to local high school seniors, including:
- The First Up Scholarship for Students Who are the First in their Family to go to College
- The Legacy Scholarship which honors Students Who Have Had to Work Especially Hard to Overcome Obstacles
- The InSpiritry Scholarship given to a Student with Dreams of Changing the World
Anne has also had the honor of being named a:
- Henderson Independent School District Lion Pride Award Winner
- Henderson Independent School District EAGLE Mentor
- Rusk County Chamber of Commerce
Louise Jacks Outstanding Young Woman of the Year
- Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow
Anne’s politics of possibility and sense of global citizenship have led to her put words to work for the Greater Good on behalf of a wide range of issues including education, race relations, poverty issues, women’s empowerment, environmental wisdom, healthcare, social justice, rural issues, family support and creative non-violence. She has been active in local, state and national politics for many years and encourages those who resist boundaries to embrace creative problem-solving, collaborative solutions, compassionate policies and courageous action.
Anne with Community Organizer, Betty Elder
Founder of the Yates Park School Supply Project
Often outdoors in workboots when she is not on the road or in her studio writing, Anne lives in East Texas with her husband, family physician Dr. Mike McCrady. She cites her mother, sisters and the many strong women in her life as models for her endeavors and draws joy from a sacred circle of friends and relatives, especially her amazing adult children: Dr. Kate and Phillip Hawkins, Andy and Caitlin McCrady and Patrick McCrady. These days she draws special joy from seeing the world through the new eyes of her granddaughter, Heidi.
Educated as a scientist and ever a student, Anne's avocations include the wildlife on her home's three acres, gardening, guitar, cooking, dancing, reading and walking in the woods. She is involved in the "politics of possibility," "Working for the Greater Good" and "Serving a Greater God."
For inspiration and guidance, she looks to the lives and sacred writings of Jesus Christ,, the Apostle Paul, Saint Francis of Assisi, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Buddha, Desmond Tutu, Jalal al-Rumi, Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Mother Teresa, John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Rachel Carson, John Muir, Barbara Jordan, Jalal al-Rumi, Vaclav Havel, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter, Mohammad Yunus, Al Gore, Barak & Michelle Obama, the psalmists and sacred writers of all faith traditions, a bookshelf of exceptional poets and writers, and courageous men and women everywhere who work for peace.
When asked to define her personal beliefs, she offers this short poem from her peace chapbook, Under a Blameless Moon:
Women at the Well
As we stand in a circle,
heads bent to look deep
into the darkness,
the best among us
haul the bucket
of what matters most
up from the well
so someone else
can have a drink.
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When You Practice InSpiritry - You Can Be a Blessing!