Mary McGowan and her husband moved to Easley about 15 years ago from Michigan. Three years ago she decided to pursue an academic degree, so she began her course study at Greenville Technical College where she is in the honor’s program and a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She is a transfer student who will attend USC Upstate’s writing program. After taking English 101 with Susan Perry, whom she says is “wonderful,” and English 102 with Ross Wagner, who “inspired her to write poetry,” she began to write seriously, and she has never looked back. She says that “writing has become essential to her well-being” and that when she doesn’t write “everything is out of whack.” Mary’s favorite writers include Annie Proulx (whom she “forgives for all that nasty sex”), and Flannery O’Connor (whom she says writes “true to life violence”). She also likes classic writers such as Dickens, Austen, Hawthorne and Kipling whose stories she finds to be “complete.” She likes many poets including Frost, Dickenson, Thomas, and Shakespeare, and Billy Collins is one of her favorite contemporary poets. Mary is currently working on a collection of short stories which will be titled My Mother Warned Me. She would love to be a paid poet and writer.