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Mary Ellen Marks

Lecturer in Writing

Mary Ellen Marks has been teaching writing at Purchase College since 2012. Her courses include College Writing, True Stories:The Craft of Memoir, Creative Nonfiction, and Senior Capstone. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College where she was the Senior Nonfiction Editor of their literary journal Lumina. In addition to personal essays, she writes artist profiles, food reviews and travel pieces. Her current projects include a children’s book and a coming-of-age memoir about her life before she became a writer.

Three of her favorite quotes are:

“Art awakens, enlarges, refines, and restores our humanity. You don’t outgrow art.” Robert Frost

“A work of art is not a living thing, but the making of a life - that which gives you a reaction.” Louis Kahn

“Art does not reproduce what we see. It makes us see.” Paul Klee.

More About Me

“Q&A With Professor Mary Ellen Marks.” The Purchase Phoenix

Representative Courses

College Writing: Art and Society: Connections

Senior Capstone

Creative Nonfiction

True Stories: The Craft of Memoir


“Child of the Sea.” Spectrum Anthology (Fiftieth Anniversary

     Edition), edited by College of Creative Studies, University of

     California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), 2008, pp. 255-262.

Senior Nonfiction Editor, LUMINA 2009 (vol. viii). Sarah

     Lawrence College, (2008-2009).

Open Wide. Thesis: Sarah Lawrence College, May 2009.

“The True Meaning of Panache.” The HOOK, November/December

     2010, pp. 45-46 (restaurant review, Café Panache, Ramsey,



“Feature Article: Musicians.” The HOOK, January 2011, pp.


     “Musicians.” (Introduction, p. 10).

     “A Man Who Can Touch the Sky.” pp. 10-11 (profile,

     musician Chuck Loeb).

     “A Musical Chameleon.” p. 12 (profile, musician Allison


     “The Space Beyond the Keys.” pp. 14-15 (profile,

     pianist/educator David Van Campen).

     “Melodies Born to be Remembered.” pp. 16-17 (profile,

     composer David Shire).

     “Bringing ‘The Happy.’” pp. 18-19 (profile, vocalist Stevan


     “Music That Makes You Wanna Boogie.” p. 20 (profile,

     pianist Scott Staton).                                                             


“A Culinary Gem.” The HOOK, March/April 2011, pp. 52-54

     (restaurant review, Spice of India, Nyack, New York).

“On My Way Over.” The Phoenix, (memoir, Sarah Lawrence

     College newspaper), April 21, 2011, (memoir essay).

“Next Stop: PUEBLA.” The HOOK, May/June 2011, pp. 18-20

     (restaurant review, Qué Chula es Puebla, Sleepy Hollow, New


“Nature at its Finest.” The HOOK, July/August 2011, pp. 44-48

     (feature travel article, Bashakill Wildlife Management Area,

     Wurtsboro, New York). 

“Sidewalk Bistro’s Secret Garden.” The HOOK, July/August 2011,

     p. 32 (restaurant review, Sidewalk Bistro, Piermont, New


“Your bra is not supporting you.” Smith Magazine, August 16,

     2011, (memoir essay).

“The Heart of the X.” The HOOK, September/October 2011, pp.

     28-32 (restaurant review, Restaurant X and Bully Boy Bar,

     Congers, New York).

“An Excuse to Paint the Sky.” The HOOK, November/Dec.

     2011, pp. 28-31 (profile, painter Deborah E. Blau; See also:

     November 23, 2011,

“The Final Harpoon.” SMITH Magazine, January 3, 2012,

     (memoir essay).


“Feature Article: Musicians.” The HOOK, January/February 2012,


     “Musicians.” (Introduction) p. 11.

     “Breaking the Fourth Wall.” pp. 12-14 (profile, musician

     Eileen Ivers).   

     “The Musical Storyteller.” pp. 17-18 (profile, musician Jon


     “Just Plain Cool.” 20-21 (profile, musician Adam Falcon; See

     also: Jan. 24, 2012, ).    

     “It’s about Timing.” pp. 22-23 (profile, Broadway

     actress/vocalist Loni Ackerman).


“The Wow Factor. The HOOK, March/April 2012, pp. 49-52.

     (profile, salon and spa New York Jungle Hair, Body and Soul,

     Tappan, New York.)

“Just the Ticket.” The HOOK, May/June 2012, p. 10 (introduction

     for photographer Susan Stava, Iceland travel profile).

“EF International Academy: Passport to a Global Education.” The

     HOOK, May/June 2012, pp. 32-34 (profile, EF International

     Academy, Tarrytown, New York).

“Just Buns.” The HOOK, May/June 2012, p. 47 (food review, Just

     Buns Congers, New York).

“Entertainment That Opens Your Eyes.” The HOOK, July/August

     2012, pp. 26-29 (profile, talent booking agency Admire


“R&R Music School.” The HOOK, July/August 2012, p. 24 (profile,

     musicians/business owners Ryan Marks and Ryan Townsend

     of R&R Music School, Congers, New York).

“Feature Article: The Health Connection.” The HOOK,

     September/October 2012, pp. 22-30.

     “The Health Connection.” (Introduction, 22).

     “A Birthing Partnership.” pp. 23-25 (profile, nurse-midwives

     Karen Bergstein and Becky McCracken of Nyack Hospital).     

     “Solving the Puzzle.” pp. 26-28 (profile, pediatric infectious

     disease physician Jeffrey Boscamp of Children’s Hospital at

     Hackensack University Medical Center).

     “The Art of Healing.”  pp. 29-30 (profile, acupuncturist Laurie

     Lehey, Piermont, New York).

“A College with Deep Roots.” The HOOK, November/December

     2012, pp. 40-43 (profile, Dominican College, Blauvelt, New


“From Jeans to Tuxedos.” The HOOK, January/February 2013,

     pp. 29-32 (restaurant review, Hudson at Haymount House,

     Briarcliff Manor, New York).

“In the Moment.” The HOOK, March/April 2013, pp. 8-11 (profile,

     floral artist Pauline Spain).

“From Slovenia with Love.” The HOOK, May/June 2013, pp.

     22-25 & 48 (profile, Chef Peter X. Kelly and Slovenia Vodka

     (see also:

“Another Time and Place.” The HOOK, June/July 2013 (profile,

     New York Renaissance Faire Live Chess Match).

“Pier 701: A Treat for the Senses.” The HOOK, Sept./Oct. 2013:

     pp. 34–37 (restaurant review, Pier 701, Piermont, New York).

“Two Spear Street: An Unhurried Place to Dine.” The HOOK,

     Nov./Dec. 2013: pp. 39–44 (restaurant review, Two Spear

     Street, Nyack, New York).

“Mission Accomplished: Five Dominican College Alumni of

     Distinction.” The HOOK, November/December 2014 (profile,

     five students from Dominican College, Blauvelt, New York).

“Course of Artistic Discovery.” The HOOK, May/June 2014

     (profile, artist/teacher Eleanor Miller’s Advanced Painting class

     at Rockland Center for the Arts, West Nyack, New York).

“A Natural Calling.” The HOOK, March/April 2014 (profile, painter

     Sue Barrasi (see also:

“A Union of Form and Function.” The HOOK, September 2015

     (profile, Maggie Mc Manus, CKD Mc Manus Group; see also: