Mary Kinney is a writer living in Ridgewood, Queens. She regularly cries in planetariums, arranges dried flowers, and makes her own soap. She has a cat with two teeth, whom she loves dearly. Her current passion project is a memoir about her aunt and namesake, who died in the infamous Willowbrook School in 1960. It is a story about honoring Mary Anne, who died at just 2 and a half years old, but also about inherited trauma and mental health institutions over the past several decades. She hopes you will read it one day.
Mary interned in a first grade classroom at an elementary school in Brooklyn, mentored by Shawn Ferreyra and Jane Elias. This internship culminated in Mary co-teaching a lesson with fellow TAP participant Javana Mundy, incorporating movement and bodies with poetry. Mary also participated in an after school playwriting class with Wingspan Arts, alongside lead teacher Seánan Forbes. She also attended several professional development events and workshops, hosted by CWP, ASTEP, Teachers and Writers Collaborative, and others.
Most Memorable TAP Moment:
“When I started my first TAP internship, I didn’t know what to expect from first graders. Up until that point, my experience had almost completely been with adults and teens. I worried that the class would be unruly, that we might need to spend time on more foundational work rather than expansion. During the first class, we started with a 60-second meditation, and I was incredulous about how that might work. The students immediately took to the meditation, and came up with creative images and words for how they felt — “It was like I was floating on a cloud,” “I felt fantastic,” or the honest “It made me feel nervous, I kept thinking about sad things.” Throughout my internship, I was always awed by these 6-year-olds. When the bar is raised, students rise to the occasion.”
Find out more about Mary here:
Canaries – a collaboration with my friend, artist Diana Naccarato, featured in Parallax Issue 6