Anne was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up in the East Texas Piney Woods, where she lives today. A survivor of life-theatening asthma, Anne credits her reverence for life and her gratitude for each day with having spent much of her life quieting the fear of dying. As an asthmatic child, she turned to writing, especially poetry, to express her ideas and has continued that passion. Her speaking and storytelling also began in adolescence and have evolved into a career as a motivational presenter. Throughout her life, Anne has used her experiences and connections to advocate for social justice.
Always joyful about learning and a lifelong math-and-science enthusiast, Anne received her B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Biology from Stephen F. Austin State University and worked first in medical research at M.D. Anderson Cancer Institute and later in medical office administration. Upon leaving that field in 1996, she began to speak, share stories and write full time, quickly finding publication and appearance opportunities. In 2003, seeking an umbrella for all her endeavors, Anne created her company, InSpiritry, as a social enterprise to put Words to Work for a Better World.
Anne's publication credits now include poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, reviews, book blurbs and editing, with appearances in a wide variety of literary journals, arts magazines, newspapers, anthologies, international publications, inspirational collections and in her own award-winning books. As a consummate believer in the power of words, both poetry and prose, and with twenty years of experience as a professional storyteller, Anne McCrady takes language to its highest potential by making it an act of InSpiritry. With each of her presentations, audience hearts are opened to new insights, as Anne shares universal dilemmas, improbable heroes, triumphant solutions and powerful wisdom. Always true to her InSpiritry mission, Anne showcases the human spirit. Best of all, she sees "story" everywhere and uses narrative in compelling and creative ways as she encourages listeners to live life as their own inspirational story being written every day. A popular motivational presenter, Anne has spoken in dozens of venues from churches and temples to schools and colleges, from retreats and conferences to civic clubs and women's groups, from auditorium podiums to back porch gatherings. Her open-hearted approach to life and her love of making connections make her comfortable wherever she is. One of her poems begins, "We make a world of where we are." Anne lives that phrase with all her endeavors.
For spiritual guidance, Anne looks to the women and men whose lives and writings offer the love, peace and forgiveness she holds sacred: Jesus Christ, Saint Francis of Assisi, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Buddha, Pope Francis, Desmond Tutu, Jalal al-Rumi, Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Mother Teresa, John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Rachel Carson, John Muir, Barbara Jordan, Mary Oliver, Gregory Orr, Vaclav Havel, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter, Mohammad Yunus, Al Gore, Barak & Michelle Obama, Bill and Melinda Gates, psalmists and sacred writers of all faith traditions, an online network of remarkable people, a bookshelf of exceptional poets and writers, and courageous men and women everywhere who live and work for a Better World. Anne frequently speaks at several East Texas Unitarian Universalist churches during worship.
As an advocate for compassionate living, innovative education, health, family issues, international development and social justice, Anne has made peacework an important aspect of her life. She has been instrumental in starting and directing two peace celebrations in her home state of Texas and supports progressive organizations at the national and international level. Each year InSpiritry publishes a peace poetry anthology, which Anne edits.
She is cofounder of the Texas Poets Podcast, a monthly literary series showcasing Texas poets in partnership with TCU Press and KTCU. Anne is also a frequent speaker, guest poet and workshop presenter at regional literary events. She also blogs at her website, InSpiritry.com, and at PoetwithaPressPass.com, where she posts news-related poems.
These days, Anne lives in Tyler, Texas, with her husband of thirty-eight years, family physician-hospitalist Dr. Mike McCrady. She has three adult children, each compassionate proponents of the arts and sciences. She spends much of her time with them, their wonderful spouses, and her three granddaughters. Anne's avocations include the wildlife on her home's three wooded acres, gardening, playing guitar, cooking, dancing, reading and hiking. Her other passions include what she calls the "Politics of Possibility," "Good to the Greater Good Communities" and "Serving a Greater God."
When asked about her mission, Anne offers this short poem from her peace chapbook, Under a Blameless Moon:
Women at the Well
As we stand in a circle,