Mary Cartledgehayes

Poet. Painter. Preacher. Author. Artist. Coach. Wanderer. Wonderer.

Derby City Dragons, 2013

On the way to see the Dalai Lama, 2013

Winning! My dragon boat team won the Mayor's Cup race this year in Louisville.

Christmas 2009 with Maureen, who was teaching me how to pose.

Grace: A Memoir, Crown Publishing, a division of Random House, 2003.

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--I'm a writer and artist in Louisville, Kentucky.

--I've published three books, three years worth of magazine columns, and more than a hundred shorter pieces, including essays, poetry, and fiction.

--I was founding director of the mentoring program for the Creative Nonfiction Foundation; have mentored numerous writers since 2000; and have taught, lectured, and directed workshops on writing across the country.

--I seriously enjoy coaching emerging writers and mentoring established writers. My philosophy is learning what we do well is the first and most important offering a coach or mentor makes.

--I hold a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction from Goucher College, a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University,and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Carolina Upstate.



Mary Cartledgehayes is the author of Semi-sweetness and Light (GoldenTree Communications, 2006); Grace: A Memoir (Crown/​Random House, 2003); and To Love Delilah (Innisfree, 1990).

Her publishing credits include Funny Times, Ms. Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Christian Century. Her experience also includes three years as a monthly magazine columnist, for which she won the Louiville Society of Professional Journalists award for Best Essays, 2010.

Her award-winning writing has been recognized for its sensuality, its unexpectedness, and its poetic mastery over language.

A nationally known speaker, Mary has led workshops across the country on writing and spirituality. The founding director of the Mentoring Program of the Creative Nonfiction Foundation, Cartledgehayes mentors and coaches writers in craft and process.

Her recent endeavors include teaching a family art workshop at the Speed Museum Extension in Lousville, Kentucky.


A review of Semisweetness and Light appeared in the Winter 2008 issue of Christian Feminism Today. Literature editor Linda Williams said, in part: "Cartledgehayes knows well how to craft a poem. Her work is rich in compelling detail and layers of meaning, sophisticated in structure, and complex in tone. And her writing is fresh."

Semisweetness and Light is available from GoldenTree at (515) 462-4004; or you can order an autographed copy from Mary Cartledgehayes by calling (864) 415-0458.

Website last updated September 2, 2013.