Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Mary McCormack Deka  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: 1989 in La Grange Park, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Mary McCormack Deka on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Deka was born and raised in La Grange Park and lived in Urbana while attending college at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Some of her poems are inspired by the landscape she's seen in Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Mary McCormack Deka has been published in India and the US. Her poems have appeared in the Goodreads newsletter, Railonama, and The Mystic Nebula. She won the Bare Hands Poetry and Photography Postcard Competition of 2013 and was a recipient of the Quinn Award for Poetry in 2012. She’s inspired by everything—oceans and forests, sardines and tangerines, stained glass and kizomba dancing. She likes to travel, read, write, and tell stories.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Away from Shore
ISBN: 0998172006

Mary McCormack Deka. 2016

Falling in love makes you vulnerable. For all the joy, there is danger, too, and heartbreak. Lyrical and full of imagery, the poems are bittersweet, both beautiful and haunting.

This excerpt from one of the first poems, Fire, sets the tone for the rest of the book:

"I took him with me,
like a lantern,
into the forest of my heart.
And I forgot
that he was made of fire,
that his touch
could make things burn."

"Deka succeeds because she knows--like Michelangelo--that art is about cutting away extraneous material, and her romantic poetry avoids common pitfalls of the genre, like mawkish sentiment and wordy rambling. And she has an eye for metaphors that are unique without being flamboyant. So shooting stars are "anchors being cast down / to keep the sky / from drifting away." And love is neither rose nor battlefield rather, it is an elephant, "tender, lumbering" "Careful, / or it can knock you over...Humble, effective poems about love, loss, and rebirth." --Kirkus Reviews

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)