Barn Stories
from North Country Books
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel and from area bookstores

A romp through the many lives - human, animal and otherwise -

that pass through the doors of a historic horse barn in upstate New York.

Excerpt ...

      A horse whisperer once told me that horses are tuned to “spirits”.  They see and hear several dimensions deep, she said, while humans function in the shallows of what their senses reveal.  If that is true, the horses have lots of company in this barn.  Looking up along those hand chinked beams to the ceiling above and the stream of light issuing from the window at the peak, you feel the ripple of time -- the rumble of wagons and tractors over the wide oaken boards of the main bay, the heat of livestock, the drum of hooves and boots, the wagon loads of hay hoisted into the mow, the buckwheat threshed on the barn floor, the winnowed seed rising into the same shaft of light I stand in. 

      Mary Cuffe Perez is the author of  four  books and numerous short stories, magazine articles, and poems. Many of her works, most notably her soon-to-be-published Barn Stories, draw from life in her small, rural town of Galway in upstate New York. She is an amateur naturalist (a.k.a. "woods roamer"), and her writing is both infused with and inspired by the natural world - particularly, the environment of upstate New York and the Adirondack region.

    Skylar, published by Philomel Books (imprint of Penguin Books) in 2008, is a children’s novel (ages: 9 – 12) about the harrowing and comic misadventures of five portly pond geese attempting their first-ever migration.
    The Woman of Too Many Days, published by Calyx Press in 2000, is a poetry book about a bad accident of a woman in wingtip shoes. Living on the streets of Albany, New York, she enters your life with a great sideways thrust of her hips until she settles into the rock, thump, rock of her own rhythm. 

    Nothing by Name, published by Shaggy Dog Press in 2011, is a novel in verse, inspired by the life of Rachel Scripter, who lived alone in the house she was born in on a remote upstate New York farm.  She never knew the benefits of electricity or running water, and supported herself raising sheep and selling blueberries.  Her needs were simple and profound, her life as purposeful as the paths she wore from house to barn to well to outhouse.

    Mary is creator and director of the Story Quilt project (link provided), sponsored by the Galway Public Library and winner of the 2007 Joseph Shubert Award for Excellence in Library Programming from the New York State Department of Education. The project was inspired by her love of and interest in the unique character of the historic little farming town of Galway, NY. Through this project, Mary organized a community of volunteers to gather the stories of multiple generations of town residents, turn the stories into poetry, and perform readings at various venues, including Saratoga favorite, Cafe Lena. The book, Story Quilt: Poems of a Place, was published as a result of the project.  

    Mary received a 2013 Artists Grant for a literary/oral history project centering on 10 residents of the Saratoga County nursing home, Maplewood Manor. Culled from hours of individual interviews, the project gave a glimpse into the residents' rich, colorful, often difficult histories through stories centering around a specific episode in each of their lives. These stories were published in a booklet entitled, What We Keep: Stories from Maplewood Manor.  

    An avid environmentalist and conservationist, Mary has published several non-fiction articles in Adirondack Life, including a feature article, "Lake George's Murky Future", which won an International Regional Magazine award for best Environmental Feature.  Other articles have appeared in Yankee, Guide to the State of New York, NYS Conservationist, Northern Woodlands and more.  Her short fiction and poetry have been published in numerous literary journals. She is the recipient of three grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, as administered through the Saratoga County Council on the Arts, and of a New York Humanities grant.

    Mary develops and presents a number of workshops for libraries and other organizations on writing poetry, fiction and memoirs, and on natural history subjects (see Workshops) .  She also facilitates book discussions funded through the NYS Council on the Arts for libraries in the Mohawk Valley Library System and is an active supporter of the Galway Public Library..  

To purchase
one of Mary's books, 
click here!


        Mary Cuffe Perez
PO Box 433
Galway, New York  12074