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WRIGHT, MARY MAUD DUNN

WRIGHT, MARY MAUD DUNN (1894–1967). Mary Dunn Wright [pseud. Lilith Lorraine], writer, was born in Corpus Christi on March 19, 1894, the daughter of Lelia (Nias) and John Beamon Dunn. She attended Incarnate Word Academy in Corpus Christi and taught school for several years. While teaching at Falfurrias she met Cleveland Lamar Wright, a cowboy, whom she married on April 21, 1912. She received her permanent teacher's certificate in 1916 and did additional work at the universities of Arizona, California, and Mexico. During the early 1920s she worked on the San Francisco Examiner, and during World War II she wrote for the San Antonio Express. For seven years she lived in Saltillo, Mexico, where in 1928 she founded the Emilio Carranza Academy of Commerce and Languages under a Mexican charter. Lilith Lorraine wrote seven books of poetry: Beyond Bewilderment (1942), The Day Before Judgement (1944), Let the Patterns Break (1947), Wine of Wonder (1955), And Ever the Pyres of the Dead Burned Thick (1957), With No Secret Meaning (1957), and Songs for Tomorrow (n.d.). Many of her poems were published in anthologies such as Golden Stallion Anthology and Unrest, and thirteen were listed in the fifth edition of Granger's Index to Poetry (1962). Lorraine received several prizes and awards, including the Arizona State Poetry Prize, a Gold Medal and citation from the Governor of Morelos, Mexico, and the Old South Award from the Poetry Society of Texas. In 1940 she founded Avalon, an international association of poets designed to encourage new talent and to promote the work of both new and established poets. In addition, she published many new writers in the poetry magazines that she founded and edited: The Raven, Different, Challenge, and Flame. She was also a member of the Poetry Society of Texas and the Poetry Society of England and was president of the Southwestern Poetry League. Lorraine was most acclaimed as a poet, but she also published science fiction short stories in popular periodicals such as Amazing Stories and Thrilling Wonder. She wrote one novel, The Brain of the Planet (1929). Her account of surface-effect vehicles was some thirty years in advance of their commercial development, and in one of her stories, "Into the 28th Century," she imagined the distant future for her hometown, Corpus Christi. She edited her father's memoirs, Perilous Trails of Texas (1932). In addition to her literary career, Mrs. Wright was a member of the Episcopal Church, the Democratic party, and the National Women's party. She died on November 9, 1967, in a Corpus Christi nursing home. She was buried beside her husband in Falfurrias Cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Corpus Christi Caller, November 10, 1967. Dallas Morning News, April 10, 1964. Flame, Spring 1961. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Lorraine, Lilith; Wright, Mary M.). Who's Who of American Women (1958–59).

Frank Wagner

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Frank Wagner, "WRIGHT, MARY MAUD DUNN," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwr19), accessed October 30, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.