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Martha Ackmann's Extended Biography


Martha Ackmann is a journalist, author and editor who writes about women who have changed America. Her works have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times and many other publications around the country. A frequent contributor to the op-ed pages of the nation’s newspapers, Ackmann focuses on science, women’s history, medicine, politics and sports. She is also a commentator for National Public Radio.

Ackmann’s book, The Mercury 13, tells the story of thirteen women pilots who secretly tested to become America’s first woman in space. Her newest book, Curveball, recounts the life of the remarkable Toni Stone, baseball’s “female Jackie Robinson.” Ackmann has been featured on many television and radio programs, including the “Today” show, CNN, BBC and Voice of America.programs, including the “Today” show, CNN, BBC and Voice of America.

A much sought after public speaker, Martha Ackmann addresses colleges and universities as well as history museums, government agencies, corporate and business groups and professional organizations.

A member of the faculty of the Gender Studies Department at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, Martha Ackmann teaches courses in women’s public writing, biography and the poet Emily Dickinson. A long-time scholar of the poet’s work and the president of the Emily Dickinson International Society, Ackmann teaches a popular seminar every fall in the Dickinson Homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts—the very site where Emily Dickinson wrote her memorable poems.

Ackmann earned her B.A. from Lindenwood College, an M.A. from Middlebury College and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts. She is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and is the former Augustus Anson Whitney Scholar in Non-Fiction at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Ackmann has worked as a high school journalism teacher, an editorial writer, a radio reporter and an instructor of countless sections of freshmen composition. In her early twenties as a media publicist, she wrote plot synopses for TV Guide and may be the only person alive ever to have summarized every episode of “I Love Lucy” and “Leave it to Beaver.”

Martha Ackmann now lives in rural western Massachusetts where she resides among amiable neighbors that include moose, bobcat, wild turkeys and an occasional bear. She is writing a new book about poet Emily Dickinson, tentatively entitled Vesuvius at Home.