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Mary A. Clark was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1949, to parents who lived on the Rutgers University campus. Her family moved to Florida, where she spent her formative years, and was infused with awe and respect for the natural world. She was also aware of the lives of migrant workers, segregation, and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. Upon moving back to New Jersey, she completed high school and attended a county college before receiving a scholarship to Rutgers. She graduated from Rutgers-Newark College of Arts and Sciences in 1972 with a B.A. in psychology. She had a strong sense of being a misfit, which propelled her to find her own place and occupation. She moved to New York City, and worked at the Poetry Festival at St. Clement's Church, in the then outcast wilds of the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood. For many years she worked for community organizations.
She is the author of Racing The Sun, a short novel (Volume 2 of the Leila Payson Series), Miami Morning: A Leila Payson Novel, and Covenant, a novella. A creative memoir, Tally: An Intuitive Life, is the story of a Bohemian in New York's Greenwich Village.