Anne McCrady - Poet

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"Every Moment is Poetic!" 

Anne McCrady began her fascination with language early, reciting nursery rhymes as a toddler, before writing poetry and stories as an adolescent while home sick with asthma. As a teenager and later an adult, Anne continued to develop her writing as she pursued an education in science and an interest in social justice. Today, Anne is an award-winning poet, frequent poetry workshop presenter, peace proponent and an advocate for arts and science integration in education, even as she expands her poetry writing to new genres such as creative nonfiction, poetic commentary, editing, blogging, online audio, libretto and artsong.

In the past twenty years, Anne's heartwarming stories, poems, essays and devotionals have been published in literary print and electronic journals, including: Borderlands-Texas Poetry ReviewConcho River ReviewRed River Review, High Grade, Lilliput Review, Devo'Zine, Entre Nous, The Midwest Poetry Review, RE:AL, Mediphors, Encore, Sweet Annie and Sweet Pea Review, Aries, Di-verse-city, Poetry.com, The Touchstone, Suddenly, Blue Hole, James River Review, Windhover, The Enigmatist, Blue Hole, Poetry at Round Top, English in Texas, New Texas, Texas Review, Texas Poetry Calendar, English in Texas, Texas Observer and Voices Israel.

In addition, Anne's poems has been widely anthologized, appearing in over thirty American and international anthologies such as: Essential Love, The Freedom Anthology, My Heart's First Steps, MotherWords, The Book of Hopes and Dreams, Miracles of Motherhood, Dog Blessings, Big Land, Big Sky, Big Hair, Suddenly, Agave, Improbable Worlds, From Under the Bridges of America, GRITS - Girls Raised in the South, Wine, Cheese & Chocolate,  Out of the Depths - Poetry of Poverty,   Her Texas and Bearing the Mask - Southwestern Persona Poems. Though varied in subject matter, Anne's work most often examines the challenges, blessings and transformations of living with an open heart.  Her stories and creative non-fiction appear in Cup of Comfort for a Better World, Cup of Comfort for Single Mothers and Christmas Traditions.

With a passion for the relevance of poetry in civic life, Anne writes and posts news-related poems at her blog, Poet with a Press Pass. Each post includes an original poem written in real time, links to news sites with related stoires and an audio reading of the featured poem. Topics include current events, technological advances, international politics and social justice issues. Audio of Anne reading all of the Poet with a Press Pass poems can also be accessed on SoundCloud. 

Anne's poetry books have garnered publishing honors, and dozens of her poems have won regional and national contests. 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. 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. Anne's most recent poetry collection, Letting Myself In, published by Dos Gatos Press in 2013, has received wide acclaim. 

She has earned the top poetry prize of the Poetry Society of Texas, the Therese Lindsey Award, as well as the coveted Founders Award offered by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. In 2011, her poem, "Directions to Peace," won the Burning Bush Poetry Prize for peace poetry. Her ekphrastic poem, "Illusion," was selected for an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art - Houston. Most recently, Anne's poem, "All That Light," won first prize in the Texas Night Sky Festival contest in Dripping Spring, Texas, an International Dark Sky Community. She is also a two-time Pushcart Nominee. Among many other publications, Anne's ideas and work have been showcased in artists features in Texas Senate Newsletter, Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas, Pineywoods Live Arts Magazine and County Line Arts & Entertainment Magazine.

Full of deeply personal perspectives, Anne's poetry has been used for worship, memorial services, peace gatherings and community events. In 2015, Anne's poetry found a new outlet in operatic musical performance. Selections from Letting Myself In have been set to music as artsong by University of Texas at Tyler performance music professor Dr. Kyle Gullings and performed by professor and vocalist Dr. Sooah Park at the University of Texas at Tyler, at Louisiana Tech and at the Society of Composers, Inc. Region VI Conference at the University of Texas at Arlington. Titled, "Letting Myself In," the song cycle is available for performance. Anne is now collaborating with Dr. Gullings on a libretto for operatic performance. 

Besides writing poetry, Anne also enjoys leading poetry workshops and seminars. Anne's uplifting and insightful programs are popular with writing conference participants, poetry critique groups, writing circles, educational conferences, churches, schools and libraries. One of her workshop sessions, "Speaking the Unspoken" is detailed in the instructional anthology, Wingbeats - Exercises & Practice in Poetry, published by Dos Gatos Press. Anne has spoken to conference audiences at Baylor University's House of Poetry, University of Mary Hardin Baylor's Writers Conference, Austin International Poetry Festival, the Georgetown Poetry Festival, Waco's WordFest, Tarleton's Langdon Review Weekend, Fort Worth's Wildcatter Exchange, the Poetry Society of Texas Summer Conference and the National Federation of State Poetry Society's Summer Conference. Anne offers online poetry lessons and literary resources at InSpiritry.

For several years, Anne was a cofounder of and InSpiritry was producer of an online podcast called the Texas Poets Podcast. In conjunction with TCU Press, the program offered interviews which featured audio conversations with noted Texas poets discussing one of their favorite poems by another Texas poet. For the podcast's success, InSpiritry was awarded the 2016 Outstanding Spoken Word Broadcast Program at the Texas Spoken Word Awards Gala.

For the past fifteen years, Anne has cosponsored, judged and hosted the very successful Poetry in Schools Contest for East Texas students grades 1-12, first through the Rusk County Poetry Society and now in partnership with Young Audiences of Northeast TexasCounty Line Magazine and Region VII ESC. She serves as a councilor for the Poetry Society of Texas and is a popular presenter for literary and community groups, as well as a frequent contest judge and critic. As a way to encourage other Texas poets to collaborate and support one another, Anne created and contributes to the Texas Poetry Events FaceBook Page.

As the founder and CEO of InSpiritry Publishers, Anne has edited and published three peace anthology chapbooks, Peace Words, Hunger for Peace and Intertwined, as part of Art of Peace - Tyler, TX, a week-long, arts-based peace celebration Anne co-founded and co-directs every September. The 2017 collection will be themed, Building Bridges - Making Peace. Submissions are accepted through Submittable each summer.

As comfortable with narrative as she is poetry, Anne spent years as a professional storyteller and has authored many of the stories she shares in her presentations. One of those stories, a simple, thought-provoking peace parable with included questions for discussion, Kevin and the Seven Prayers, is available as a small giftbook from InSpiritry Publishers. Two of her inspirational true stories appear in Cup of Comport for Single Mothers and Cup of Comfort for a Better WorldShe continues to write and share her stories on page and stage.

In addition to 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, FrontlineFox News Radio and Air America.

Anne is a member of the Association of Writers & Writing ProgramsAcademy 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, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishersthe East Texas Writers Guild, the East Texas Writers Association, the Rusk County Poetry Society and the Rose Garden Poetry Society.

Anne's current writing projects include several new poetry collections, poetry recordings, narratives for oral storytelling, children’s manuscripts, texts for worship, non-profit promotion, opera librettos, poems for Texas Poets Podcast, and continuing social media postings. She invites conversation and food for thought with her daily writing prompt, the InSpiritry Question for the Day on FaceBook and posts on Poet with a Press PassTwitter and LinkenIn, uplifting posts on her InSpiritry blog and encouragements through her Minute of InSpiritry podcasts at SoundCloud.  

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Anne's Literary Honors and Appearances

  • 1996-2011 Rusk County Poetry Society Annual Awards Winner
  • 1997-2009 Poetry Society of Texas Annual Awards Winner
  • 2004 - 2007 National Federation of State Poetry Annual Award Winner
  • 2002 Rusk County Poet of the Year
  • 2004 Poetry Society of Texas Edwin M. Eakin Manuscript Publication Award
  • 2005 National Federation of State Poetry Societies Founders Award
  • 2007 Pudding House Innovative Writers Poetry Chapbook Prize
  • 2007 -2009 UMHB Writers Festival Featured Poet & Presenter
  • 2008 Austin International Poetry Festival Di-verse-city Anthology Guest Editor
  • 2008-2013 Tarleton State University Weekend at Langdon Presenter
  • 2009 Art of Peace Festival Featured Poet & Storyteller
  • 2009 Angelo State Literary Festival Featured Poet
  • 2010 Baylor University House of Poetry Workshop Presenter
  • 2010 Austin International Poetry Festival Invited Guest Poet
  • 2010 Art of Peace Festival - Belton Featured Poet
  • 2011 Baylor University House of Poetry Workshop Presenter
  • 2011 Burning Bush Poetry Prize
  • 2011 East Texas Fall Festival of Poetry Workshop Presenter
  • 2012 Museum of Fine Art Houston Exhibit Poet
  • 2013 Waco Cultural Arts Fest Wordfest Featured Poet & Panelist
  • 2013 Georgetown Poetry Festival Featured Poet & Workshop Presenter
  • 2014 Baylor University House of Poetry Guest Lecturer
  • 2014 Northeast Texas Poetry in Schools Awards Ceremony Emcee
  • 2014 Lucidity Poetry Retreat Feature Poet & Speaker
  • 2015 University of Texas at Tyler World Premier of Anne's Poems as Song Cycle
  • 2015 Wildcatter Exchange Arts Festival Feature Panelist
  • 2015 Tyler Museum of Art Literary Program Speaker
  • 2015 Emcee for Her Texas Reading - Longview Museum of Art
  • 2015 Waco Cultural Arts Fest WordFest Workshop Presenter
  • 2015 Georgetown Poetry Festival Workshop Presenter
  • 2016 Lead Judge & Emcee for Northeast Texas Poetry in Schools Awards
  • 2016 Outstanding Spoken Word Broadcast Program for Texas Poets Podcast
  • 2016 Waco Cultural Arts Fest WordFest Workshop Presenter
  • 2016 Georgetown Poetry Festival Featured Poet & Presenter
  • 2017 Texas Night Sky Festival 1st Place Poem

Enjoy Selections of Anne's Poetry