If there was going to be a successor to Maya Angelou, many have said that it would most definitely be Mary Bowman. Though she has only been performing for 3 years Mary has graced stages from your average local poetry open mic to The 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Creativity & Crisis. Becoming a Nationally known poet has not wavered Mary's ability to offer herself raw and unadulterated, as a young woman living with HIV. Mary has shared stages with International Poet Sonya Renee Taylor, National HIV Activist & Escape artist Daniel Bauer, and HBO Def Poet Patrick Washington. In 2010, after writing poetry for 8 years Mary decided to publish her first collection of poetry titled Lotus. In 2011, Lotus won the National Underground Spoken Word Poetry Award for Book Of The Year.
"Be The Change You Wish To See In The World" is manifested in Mary's everyday life as she plans to take her story across seas becoming an Internationally known poet & Advocate for HIV/AIDS. Mary is currently building her own organization, Purpose Over Entertainment (P.O.E.T.) which is dedicated to using social media, visual and performing arts to foster holistic conversations regarding those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in the Greater Washington, DC area in an effort to eliminate the stigmas surrounding HIV/AIDS. Through the testimonies of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS P.O.E.T. has been able to promote awareness, inspire the young as well as the old, and most importantly let people Living with HIV know that they aren't alone.
Mary has been featured in several blogs and newspapers including Street Sense, The NY Times, and TheBody.Com. Several local and internet radio stations including, WPFW's Inside Out with Sheila Alexander- Reid, PozIAm Radio with Robert Breining, and The Exchange with Aaron Myers on blog talk radio. Mary has facilitated support groups for youth living with HIV, and has participated in several panel discussions/ rap sessions with youth wanting to learn about HIV. Mary is a poet, advocate, author, singer, however at the end of the day Mary is just Mary; A 23 year old woman, born with HIV. She smiles, she cries, she laughs, and she frowns just like anyone else.
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