Bio

MLPPenguin1Mary Laura Philpott believes a good writer is a great listener.

She is the author and illustrator of a little humor book about modern adulthood, Penguins with People Problems; an essayist and guest columnist for publications including The New York Times, The Paris Review, and The Washington Post; the founding editor of MUSING, the online magazine published by Parnassus Books; and an Emmy-award winning literary chat show host. She is also a real-live human being who loves wallowing in words every day. 

Mary Laura balances a portfolio of creative work that ranges from serious to silly, spanning matters of culture, literature, creativity, and the overlap of professional and domestic life. Some days find her wrestling with a complicated paragraph; other days, she’s drawing and captioning talking birds. You might spot her writing in paper or online, or you may see her on TV chatting with the likes of Louise Erdrich or Jesmyn Ward on a fun interview show she co-hosts called A WORD ON WORDS.  She spends a good bit of time hanging around the indie bookstore where she works, holding a megaphone to the voices of the amazing writers, readers, and booksellers who come through the doors. Mary Laura also enjoys traveling around the country to talk to people about books, reading, writing, and social media. She has built a career doing what she loves and feels mighty lucky to be here.

Mary Laura graduated from Davidson College (go Wildcats) with high honors in English (go nerds) and still enjoys dissecting a good book. She lives in Nashville with her family.

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(Photo in sidebar by Heidi Ross)