Mary Potter Engel
Fellowship Awards 2003
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Mary Potter Engel (Shoreline) received her Ph.D. in theology from the University of Chicago Divinity School, and, for many years taught historical, constructive, and feminist theology at Christian seminars across the country. She is the author of John Calvin’s Perspectival Anthropology as well as numerous articles on feminist theology and sexual and domestic violence. After completing her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College, she began publishing fiction. Her story ‘Let Them Big Animals Come Back’ won first prize in the 2000 Southern Women’s Writers Conference contest for emerging writers. Her debut novel, A Woman of Salt, was published in 2001. Strangers and Sojourners, her collection of linked stories from the Low Country of South Carolina, will be released in Spring 2004. Currently a resident of Shoreline, Engel teaches Jewish history and theology at Limmud NW, a community program of Adult Jewish Studies in the greater Seattle area, and conducts writing workshops in the area.
As part of her Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Mary and Charlene Finn spoke at a brown bag lunch session attended by 30 students, faculty members, and staffpersons at the Helen Jewett Student Center in Petrie Hall on “Why Writing Matters.” They spoke about why writing matters, how they found their voice, how they came to their subject and the importance of others finding their own voices and subjects. In the afternoon they spoke to a group of 35 writers including students from a composition class and an Honors English class, as well as faculty and staff. An open discussion followed. Heritage College’s student body composition includes 95% low income individuals, 73% women, and 51% Native American and Hispanic students.