Mary Salisbury is a 2008 Oregon Literary Fellowships recipient in fiction.

Mary lives in Jacksonville and is enrolled in the low-residency MFA writing program at Pacific University. She has a Bachelors in nursing from Southern Oregon University and used to work as a registered nurse. She currently works part-time in Medford for Kids Unlimited of Oregon. She says, “I intend to write stories that bring compassion and love, and hopefully, an understanding of our own humanity, into the world.”

What is Mary working on now?
I’m working on a group of short stories, seven of them. Three feel finished, the rest need more work.

What inspires her?
Hearing music or reading other people’s work.

What’s the last book she read that she would recommend
to a friend?
I just told my sister about a book of short stories by Helen Simpson. I always recommend James Salter to anyone who asks me what short stories I love. They get right to the essential. I’m a sucker for any story about love.

Judge Dinty Moore had this to say about her work:

“Mary Salisbury draws on her experiences as a registered nurse to write honest, unadorned prose that looks unblinkingly at the harsh realities of race, class and a troubled healthcare system.”



David follows the boys down to the locker room, leaves them there to change. Blue lockers line all four walls; a bench is in the middle, the shine of years on its wood. On the walls are metal posters listing all-time category leaders in scoring, rebounds and assists. The boys know the lists are up there. Some boys dream of being up there too. Keith will be. Sammy wants it. The boys stuff their clothes into lockers, into bags, and one by one, or two at a time, they filter out through the gym and into the night.


— Mary Salisbury, from the story “Echoes”

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