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Local Author Spotlight: Mary Dezember, Ph.D.

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Mary Dezember, Ph.D., is an award-winning author of stories and poetry as portals to possibilities.

A woman with glasses, long hair, and red lipstick against a black background.

Wild Conviction is her debut novel and, thus far, her life’s work. Much of the novel’s action happens in historical Evansville.

Mary entered her writing career as a journalist. Born in Evansville, she was the editor of her high school newspaper, the Reitz Mirror, and wrote features for the Evansville Sunday Courier & Press. She earned her B.A. from the University of Evansville then worked as Public Relations Specialist at Welborn Hospital.

After earning her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Indiana University, she taught English literature, writing, comparative arts, art history, and social issues for twenty-one years. Professor Emeritus of English at New Mexico Tech, she is a scholar of the arts, literature, writing, and an advocate of creativity. A lover of the beauty and power of language, she states: “We spell words and, arranged well, words can put a spell on us.”

Her novel and her two books of poetry explore the rite of passage to identity, including the hero’s emotional and intellectual quest. Mary likes to make life magical, even if that means simply cuddling a cat, channeling the muse, or reading a good book. She lives in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.

Join us in the Browning Gallery at 6:00pm on April 2nd as Dr. Dezember takes us on a journey through the pages of her thought-provoking debut novel, “Wild Conviction.” Several chapters of the novel are set in Evansville during the antebellum and early Civil War periods. Willard Carpenter is mentioned in the story, and the research acknowledgements include Willard Public Library. A brief Q & A session and book signing will follow. Visit for more information about the author and her work!

2023 Release: Debut Novel “WILD CONVICTION”

A book cover with a young woman and a white horse, titled "Wild Conviction" by Mary Dezember.

1858. When secrets about her ancestry ignite 16-year-old Twilight Adams to help enslaved children at a wicked plantation, she discovers what the captives know too well — survival isn’t freedom.

Wild Conviction is a socially conscious, richly historical novel, sprinkled with magic and love. For this novel, Dr. Dezember created a scenario within a historical setting in which the terms Rich-tone and Pale are used for skin tone — and without historical or contemporary derogatory terms.

Author photo by Jason Collin Photography