Martha Ackmann is a journalist and author who writes about women who have changed America. Her essays and columns have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. She also is a frequent commentator for New England Public Radio, and has been featured on CNN, National Public Radio, and the BBC.
Martha’s award-winning books include The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight, Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone, First Woman to Play Professional Baseball in the Negro League, and the forthcoming Vesuvius at Home: Ten Days in the Life, Loves, and Mystery of Emily Dickinson. The Mercury 13 is in development for an Amazon mini-series and a theatrical adaptation of Curveball will premiere off-Broadway in 2019.
A much sought-after public speaker, Martha has addressed audiences as diverse as those at Johnson Space Center, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Emily Dickinson Museum. She is often featured at events celebrating Black History Month and National Women’s History Month. Her books have been selections for Common Read programs at many colleges and universities.
A long-time member of the Gender Studies Department at Mount Holyoke College, Martha taught a popular seminar on Emily Dickinson in the poet’s house in Amherst, Massachusetts. She now instructs teachers from across the country through programs including the New England Young Writers Conference and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Martha is the recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She holds a B.A. from Lindenwood College, an M.A. from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts. She lives in western Massachusetts.