Martha Ackmann is a journalist and author who writes about women who have changed America. Her essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. 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 These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson. A theatrical adaptation of Curveball premiered Off Broadway in 2019. Toni Stone, written by playwright Lydia Diamond, was a New York Times Critic’s Pick and the Wall Street Journal named it the Best New Play of 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.