Shade and Shelter by Mary Ricketson
"Mary Ricketson’s Shade and Shelter I cherish for its naturalness, the words as wind, sometimes wild, sometimes caring, always solid as a stone-wall at sunset, real as the dirt beneath the feet, ephemeral as one monarch butterfly."
—Shelby Stephenson, Poet Laureate of North Carolina, 2015-2018
"In Mary Ricketson’s Shade and Shelter, the speaker eloquently ponders 'how the world ticks / and what to do with [her] one chance' in a bold, nature-filled voice. Poison ivy, trillium, past hurts, new loves all appear and are seen, wide-eyed and with bravery, as the reader vicariously travels along the trail, 'too narrow for two.'"
—Rosemary Royston, Splitting the Soil
"In Mary Ricketson’s aptly named collection, Shade and Shelter, 'all four winds blow wild:' the winds of remembrance, confrontation, acceptance and healing. Ricketson brings us along on her journey into nature as that windy place where 'a million ferns hold hope for the future.' As do these poems."
—Dana Wildsmith, One Good Hand
Mary Ricketson, Murphy, has been writing poetry for twenty years. She is inspired by nature and her work as a mental health counselor. Her poetry has been published in Wild Goose Poetry Review, Future Cycle Press, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Lights in the Mountains, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge, Red Fox Run, It’s All Relative, Old Mountain Press, Whispers, and her chapbook I Hear the River Call my Name, and a full-length collection of poetry, Hanging Dog Creek, published by Future Cycle Press.
Currently Mary is using her own poetry to present empowerment workshops, combining roles as writer and her helping role as a therapist. Mary Ricketson’s poems and activities relate with nature, facilitate talk about a personal path and focus on growth in ordinary and unusual times.
She is Cherokee County representative to North Carolina Writers Network-West and president of Ridgeline Literary Alliance. She won first place in the 2011 Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest 75th anniversary national poetry contest. She writes a monthly column, Women to Women, for The Cherokee Scout. She is a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor and an organic blueberry farmer.