Mary Kovaleski Byrnes is a poet and travel writer. She teaches writing and literature at Emerson College, and is the co-founder of the emersonWRITES program, a free creative writing program for Boston Public School students. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Guernica, Salamander, the Four Way Review, the Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, the Boston Globe, Poet Lore, Cimmaron Review, the Best of Kore Press, Best of the Net, PANK, and elsewhere. She served as Poetry Editor for Redivider in 2008 and has been a poetry reader for Ploughshares since 2009.


Mary holds degrees from Emerson College and Mary Washington University. In 2009, she was a scholarship recipient to Squaw Valley, and in 2014, attended the Colrain Manuscript Conference. Originally from Lititz, PA, Mary previously worked for an international non-profit that sent her frequently to Eastern Europe. She worked in New Zealand as a housekeeper and waitress, and translated contemporary Andalucían poetry in Sevilla and Cadiz, Spain, where she lived in 2011. She currently lives in Arlington, MA with her husband and two young children, Xavier and Natalie.