Maryann Lesert lives and writes in West Michigan, where she teaches creative writing at Grand Rapids Community College.
After graduating from Western Michigan University with a degree in Art and Creative Writing, Maryann settled into Kalamazoo’s vibrant theater community, working with Actors and Playwrights’ Initiative Theatre as a Resident Company Playwright. During her API years, six short plays and three of Maryann’s full lengths received productions, awards, and publication. Award winning full lengths include The Music in the Mess (2001) and Natural Causes (2003), a finalist for the Princess Grace Foundation’s National Playwright’s Fellowship to New Dramatists. Her short plays appear in Smith and Kraus’s Best Ten Minute Plays of 2007 and The Art of the One-Act (New Issues, 2008).
In 2003, Maryann completed an MFA in Writing at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Her first novel, Base Ten, was published by the Feminist Press in 2009, the first title in the Women Writing Science series, a collaboration with the National Science Foundation. Green Cross, her current novel in progress, grew from two years of boots-on-well-sites research on fracking in Michigan’s state forests. An excerpt from the novel appears in Fracture, Essays, Poems, and Stories about Fracking in America (Ice Cube Press, 2016).
From her first play, “Superwoman” (1998), a 90-minute rant against technologies that threaten to erase our biological sense of place, to Green Cross, set in the forests and wetlands of Michigan, Maryann’s work is equally inspired and supported by time with the natural world.
Maryann is thankful for the supportive solitude she’s been granted through writing residencies at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (MI), Crosshatch’s Hill House (MI), and The Writer’s Colony of Eureka Springs (AR). She’s also happy to have nurtured, with her best friend and husband, two grown children who are doing their part to bring more art into the world.