Marotte, a native Arkansan, grew up in Little Rock and graduated from Central High School and Hendrix College. She earned a Master’s degree in English from UCA and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee. After spending several years in Tennessee and Palo Alto, California, she returned to Arkansas five years ago and has been involved with AST since its inception, serving as executive director last year and chair of special events for the past five years. In addition to her work with AST, Mary Ruth is an assistant professor of English and director of graduate studies in English at UCA. She is the author of Captive Bodies: American Women Writers Redefine Pregnancy and Childbirth and co-editor of Papa, PhD: Essays on Fatherhood by Men in the Academy and has published articles on Virginia Woolf, Tillie Olsen, and most recently, Sarah Palin. Mary Ruth lives in Conway with her husband Jeff and their three children, all big fans of the Bard.