About Mary Blocksma

Education    I was born in Chicago; home-schooled through 6th grade in Lahore, Pakistan; and attended secondary school in Grand Rapids, Michigan. My B.A. in English, French, and Secondary Education in from Wheaton College (Wheaton, Illinois), my M.A. in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University, and my M.L.S.  (Library Science) is from the University of Michigan.

Teacher   I’ve taught junior high and high school (Bryn Mawr prep school), college and university (Baltimore Junior College, Eastern Nigeria University, and Delta College in Saginaw, Michigan), and taught many writing workshops.

Librarian   I’ve been a reference librarian at the Chicago Public Library and the DePaul University Library, School Library Administrator for the Ministry of Education in Eastern Nigeria, Director of the Albany County Library (Laramie, WY), and a part-time reference librarian at the Bay City Public Library (MI).

Writer    I’ve worked for Addison-Wesley Publishing Company as a full-time staff writer for phonetic reading programs (K-Junior High), free-lanced for many textbook companies such as Houghton-Mifflin, Addison-Wesley, Harcourt-Brace, and Hampton-Brown. I’ve authored and published books with such publishers as Bantam, Little-Brown, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, University of Michigan, and many others.

Artist  About ten years ago I taught myself to paint and have been illustrating my own work, painting the Great Lakes and selling prints, cards, and posters ever since.

Breast Cancer Survivor  In October, 2004, I was diagnosed with early invasive breast cancer and I have blogged my experience with it since then. The blog first appeared on this website, now Mary’s Breast Cancer Blog Archives. For a year (May 2006-07) I continued my breast cancer blog on the HealthCentral.com. Then I took a break, but starting in January, 2008, I am taking it up again on Mary’s Current Breast Cancer Blog.