Maryanne Raphael, writer and social activist, died Thursday in Columbus, Ohio. She was 83.
Son, Raphael Raphael, confirmed her death. The death was due to brain hemorrhaging. She had been in a coma for several days after being hospitalized since late June.
During studies at the Sorbonne in Paris in the early 1960s, Ms. Raphael was an active writer and actress in Griot theatre. After work as dancer for the USO in Germany, she went to the Caribbean where she met and married Lennox Raphael, the Trinidadian writer and artist.
They traveled together through four continents, including living in Morocco and Rio, where they became celebrities in the 1960s Brazilian art scene under the signature LENMAR.
Returning to the U.S., she was active in the civil rights movement. During the freedom rides, she and her husband were both arrested for being together in a White waiting room in the South. Their marriage is documented in their co-written Garden of Hope (Hopewell, 2006).
In New York City, she was active in the Women's Liberation movement and with Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin as a member of the Yippies.
Additionally, Ms. Raphael was actively involved in the 1960s Manhattan art scene. As an avant-garde poet, she read with Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Calvin Hernton, Norman Pritchard and others. She was also a member of the famed Umbra Workshop, with Ishmael Reed, Steve Cannon, Tom Dent, David Henderson, and others.
Her service work included work with Mother Teresa and the Sisters of Charity in Tijuana, Mexico, Calcutta, India and Appalachian Ohio. Her years as Co-Worker of Mother Teresa are retold in Mother Teresa, Called to Love (2000) And What Mother Teresa Taught Me (2007).
Other service work included disaster relief for the Red Cross in Hawaii, work with at-risk teens in Brooklyn in the Americorp VISTA volunteer program, work as social worker in Hawaii, and volunteer work for Catholic charities in Appalachian Ohio.
She wrote over 14 books. They include: Runaways, America's Lost Youth (1974) (co-authored by Jenifer Wolf, with Preface by Anaïs Nin); Along Came A Spider (2001), documenting her wellness struggles, and numerous biographies.
Her published biographies include: Anais Nin, The Voyage Within (2003); Dorothy Day, A Passion for Peace (2017); and Saints of Molokai (2009), on the work of Father Damien and the religions community serving those with Hansen's Disease in the Hawaiian settlement.
Other work includes novels such as The Man Who Loved Funerals (2001) and over 300 published articles, which include interviews with Anaïs Nin and Margaret Mead.
Her professional roles included teaching at The New School for Social Research, Ohio University, and University of Hawaii. She was also an editor at Prentice Hall and Woman’s Day Magazine. In the early 80s, she also founded the small publishing house Bhakti Press and the international writer's magazine Writer's World, which was later absorbed into Writer's Digest.
She was the oldest of 10 children, eight of whom remain. She is survived by her only child, Raphael.
Miller Funeral Homes is entrusted with her arrangements.
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