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Dr. Mary E. Weems is an accomplished author, poet, playwright, and social/cultural foundations scholar. Her work is inspired by the human condition and by what is happening to Black people in America around issues of race, gender and class. To date, Weems has authored thirteen books and her plays and/or excerpts have been published or produced for nearly two decades. 


Weems' cultural diversity work is grounded in her imagination-intellect theory which states empathy is an integral part of deconstructing prejudicial biases, being socially conscious, and of discovering the inextricable connection between all human beings.


Career highlights include receiving a Wick Chapbook award, being nominated for a Pushcart prize and two Ohioana Book award nominations (2008, 2012) and a Chilcote Award. 



  • National Communication Association, Ethnography Division Best Special Journal Issue Award for "June 12, 2016: Terrorism and Hate in Orlando, America—Poetic and Performative Responses" Qualittive Inquiry (2017), 23.7, 483-571 (2018)

  • Cleveland Arts Prize Emerging Artist Award for Literature (2015)

  • For(e)closure finalist for the Ohioana Book Award (2013)

  • Winner, African American Playwrights Exchange, Very Short Halloween Play Contest (2011)

  • MEAT (play) selected by the Frank Silvera Workshop for a staged reading at the National Black Theatre Festival (2011)

  • Closure world premiere at Karamu House (Cleveland, OH).

  • An Unmistakable Shade of Red and the Obama Chronicals, finalist for the Ohioana Book Award (2009).

  • Poet Laureate, City of Cleveland Heights (2008 and 2009).

  • Wick Chapbook Award (1996).

  • Chilcote Award for The Most Innovative Play by an Ohio Playwright (1997).

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