Mari Evans

Mari Evans is a poet, dramatist, short fiction writer, children's writer, editor, essayist, and lecturer. Since the 1960s, Mari Evans has produced a body of works unique for its personal sensitivity, political tenor, and precisely crafted diction and structures. Although principally known for her poetry, Mari Evans's dramas have had repeated productions over the years, and her children's books have been noted as models for unobtrusively premising a constructive, nurturing worldview. Her essays and lectures are marked by explicit political commitment, cogent logic, and quiet fervor.

The kind of professional service that Evans provided by becoming an anthologist is matched by her commitment to community service. She is active in movements for prison reform and against capital punishment, especially in some specific egregious cases. She works with local community organizations and with theater groups. She has a demanding lecture schedule. These activities express in action an implication that pervades her writing—that self-fulfillment for the African American must include identification with the deprived, the oppressed, and efforts to enhance the health and strength of the community.

Perhaps the genius of Mari Evans centers on her succinct, specific portrayals of the human spirit, and her moral premise that evil is both personal and institutional and must be fought in all its spheres.