About Mary

Mary FillmoreAfter a lifetime of private creative writing, I was seized by a subject too important to hide in my journal or a letter to friends.   Since my first lengthy stay in Amsterdam in 2001, I have been visiting and researching, writing and speaking about the Holocaust and resistance there.  Living in a house where Jewish people were hidden inspired my novel, An Address in Amsterdam, published in October 2016 by She Writes Press.  It’s about a young Jewish woman who joins the underground.

To develop my craft as a writer to be worthy of this topic, I earned my MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2005.  Since then, I have published poetry in literary journals as well as gaining recognition for my essay, “Freeing the Hidden Camp,” in The Journal’s contest.

The Vermont Humanities Council Speakers’ Bureau sponsors my presentation of “Anne Frank’s Neighbors:  What Did They Do?,” which explores the many shades of grey in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, and the wrenching choices which confronted good people.  In my earlier writing life, I also wrote a nonfiction book in 1987 (Women MBAs:  A Foot in the Door, G.K. Hall), and contributed a chapter to Ourselves Growing Older (Simon and Schuster).  

I have been a resident at the Vermont Studio Center and a graduate assistant at Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA program.  To keep on learning, I attend writing conferences such as The Muse and the Marketplace, the Associated Writing Programs, Write Angles, and the International Women’s Writing Guild.  For more than thirty years, I have studied with Deena Metzger, the author of the invaluable Writing for Your Life.

Since 1982, my other work has been as a facilitator bringing people together for a purpose, which I still enjoy after more than thirty years working throughout the US and elsewhere.  A gardener and passionate reader, I live with my longtime partner, astronomer Joanna Rankin, in Burlington, Vermont.