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Mary Jumbelic, MD

I am an author from Central New York, and the former chief medical examiner of Onondaga County. Performing thousands of autopsies in my 25-year career, I elaborate a strong voice for the deceased. From Chicago and Peoria, Illinois, to Syracuse, New York, my job has been as an advocate for the dead. They have communicated to me through wounds, disease, and the circumstances of their last living moments.

I explore through creative non-fiction the imprint my patients have made on my humanity. By retelling their tales, I am also telling mine.

I have published with Rutgers University Press (“Death as My Colleague” in Final Acts, Death, Dying, and the Choices We Make, 2010), Tortoise and Finch (On Courage Award for “The Boy”, 2017), Foliate Oak Literary Magazine (“Home” 2017), Vine Leaves Press (“Flies” in A Collection of Vignettes from Across the Globe, 2017), GFT Press (Anniversary Contest Grand Prize Winner for “The Morgue” in GFT Presents: One in Four, 2017),  Women on Writing (First Place Winner Q2 for “Watching Her” 2021), Jelly Bucket (“Stairwell”, Black Lives Matter special edition, September 2021), The Closed Eye Open (“Pandemic, the Game” in the Aldous Huxley Themed Issue 2021), Prometheus Dreaming (“Scents and Sensibilities” 2021), Grapple Alley (“The Champion” release in September 2021), and Change Seven (“Vesey Street” release winter edition 2021/22).

In 2014, my piece “Prague” was selected for the top ten in the AARP/Huffington Post Memoir Writing Contest. In 2021, “Feral Child” was chosen in the top ten in nonfiction for the Tucson Literary Festival.

I teach on-line courses on writing for the Downtown Writer’s Center of Syracuse (YMCA), and am Assistant Editor for Stone Canoe.