Wendy Mages

  • Professor, Early Childhood and Childhood Education

Wendy K. Mages, a Pushcart Prize nominee and award-winning poet and author, is an educator, scholar, and storyteller who earned a doctorate in Human Development and Psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a master’s in Theatre at Northwestern University. Prior to joining the faculty at Mercy, she taught graduate and undergraduate students at Boston University and at Harvard. In addition to her work with adults, she has designed and taught a preschool performing arts program, worked as a museum educator, and wrote and performed for children’s television. 

Her research, which focuses on the effect of educational strategies and contexts on language, cognitive, and social development, has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including the Review of Educational Research, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Research in Drama Education, Youth Theatre Journal, Scenario, and Library and Information Science Research. She was also honored to be awarded a Fulbright Specialist Fellowship focusing on Drama and Theatre in an Austrian Teacher Education Program.

As a complement to her research and scholarly publications, she performs original stories at storytelling events and festivals in the US and abroad, and has subsequently published many of these stories. To learn more about her poetry, stories, and storytelling, or to see videos of her performances at The Moth, please visit Wendy Mages: Storyteller.

Please click on the hyperlinked text at the end of this sentence to learn how to pronounce Wendy Mages.

EdD and EdM, Human Development and Psychology, Harvard Graduate School of Education

MA, Theatre, Northwestern University

BA, Summa Cum Laude, Theatre Arts, Brandeis University

Peer Reviewed Research Publications

Mages, W. K.  (2021). Storytelling content, contexts, and controversies: A conscionable calculus. Scenario Journal, 15(2), 67-70. https://doi.org/10.33178/scenario.15.2.5

Mages, W. K.  (2021). Triptych: Ethical quandaries in personal storytelling for teaching and research. Scenario Journal, 15(2), 63-66. https://doi.org/10.33178/scenario.15.2.4

Mages, W. K.  (2020). Perseverance, performance, and pedagogy in the pandemic: The power of storytelling in face-to-face and virtual learning environments.  R & E Source: Open Online Journal for Research and Education. Retrieved from https://journal.ph-noe.ac.at/index.php/resource/article/view/958/849

Mages, W. K.  (2020). Educational drama and theatre pedagogy: An integral part of training English-as-a-foreign-language teachers. Scenario Journal, 14(1), 12-24. https://doi.org/10.33178/scenario.14.1.2

Mages, W. K.  (2018). Does theatre-in-education promote early childhood development?: The effect of drama on language, perspective-taking, and imagination. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 45, 224–237. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2017.12.006

Mages, W. K., Nitecki, E., & Ohseki, A.  (2018).  A college-community collaboration: Fostering developmentally appropriate practices in the early childhood classroom. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning18(3), 174–188. https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v18i3.21761

Mages, W. K. (2017). Practice makes perfectible: The impact of training and rehearsal on intervention fidelity. Youth Theatre Journal, 31(1), 7–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/08929092.2017.1298542

Mages, W. K. (2016). Educational drama and theatre: Paradigms for understanding and engagement. R & E Source: Open Online Journal for Research and Education. Retrieved from http://journal.ph-noe.ac.at/index.php/resource/article/view/328/348

Mages, W. K. (2016).  Taking inspiration from Reggio Emilia: An analysis of a professional development workshop on fostering authentic art in the early childhood classroom. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 37(2), 175–185. https://doi.org/10.1080/10901027.2016.1165763

Mages, W. K. (2015). Drama in early childhood: Promoting language development and supporting academic transitions. R & E Source: Open Online Journal for Research and Education. Retrieved from http://journal.ph-noe.ac.at/index.php/resource/issue/view/9

Mages, W. K.  (2013). Building a strong ensemble of teaching artists: Characteristics, contexts, and strategies for success and sustainability. International Journal of Education & the Arts14(8). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v14n8/

Mages, W. K.  (2012). Preschool characteristics influence the success of professional development: Is your preschool ready, willing, and able? NHSA Dialog: A Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Childhood Field 15(2), 195–200. https://doi.org/10.1080/15240754.2012.665513

Mages, W. K.  (2012). Professional development in the context of a Head Start theatre-in-education program. NHSA Dialog: A Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Childhood Field 15(2), 159–186. https://doi.org/10.1080/15240754.2012.665508

Mages, W. K. (2010). Creating a culture of collaboration: The conception, design, and evolution of a Head Start theatre-in-education program. Youth Theatre Journal 24(1), 45–61. https://doi.org/10.1080/08929091003732989

Mages, W. K., & Garson, D. S. (2010). Get the cite right: Design and evaluation of a high-quality online citation tutorial. Library & Information Science Research Journal 32(2), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2009.10.004

Mages, W. K. (2008). Does creative drama promote language development in early childhood?  A review of the methods and measures employed in the empirical literature. Review of Educational Research 78(1), 124-152. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654307313401

Mages, W. K. (2007). Motivation, classroom management, and pedagogical vision: An investigation of the psychosocial development of two actor-educators. Youth Theatre Journal 21, 94–112. https://doi.org/10.1080/08929092.2007.10012599

Mages, W. K. (2006). Drama and imagination: A cognitive theory of drama’s effect on narrative comprehension and narrative production. Research in Drama Education 11(3), 329–340. https://doi.org/10.1080/13569780600900750

Mages, W. K. (2006). How many words is a picture worth? The importance of comprehensive reporting in drama research. Youth Theatre Journal 20, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1080/08929092.2006.10012583

Mages, W. K. (2004). Urban Improv: A portrait of an educational drama organization.  Youth Theatre Journal, 18, 30–44. https://doi.org/10.1080/08929092.2004.10012562

Book Chapter

Mages, W. K.  (2017). Drama-based interventions and narrative.  In N. Kucirkova, C. E. Snow, V. Grover, & C. McBride (Eds). The Routledge international handbook of early literacy education: A contemporary guide to literacy teaching and interventions in a global context. (pp. 296–307).  New York, NY: Routledge.

Literary Publications

Mages, W. K. (2024). After the storm. WestWord. https://westword.substack.com/p/after-the-storm?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&triedRedirect=true

Mages, W. K. (2024). How to become a catastrophist in 6 easy steps. WestWord. https://westword.substack.com/p/how-to-become-a-catastrophist-in

Mages, W. K. (2024). Parkway promenade. Bright Flash Literary Review. https://brightflash1000.com/2024/06/05/parkway-promenade

Mages, W. K. (2024). Pitch (not) perfect: My quixotic journey in the world of music. The AutoEthnographer, 4(2). https://theautoethnographer.com/pitch-not-perfect-my-quixotic-journey-in-the-world-of-music

Mages, W. K. (2024). The question remains. Dreamers Creative Writing, 16. https://www.dreamerswriting.com/wendy-mages

Mages, W. K. (2024). So sings the washing machine. Prime Number Magazine, 251. https://www.press53.com/issue-251-pnm-flash-fiction-prize#Mages251

Mages, W. K. (2023). Before the last snow melts. 3cents Magazine, (5). https://www.3centsmagazine.com/issues/slipping/before-the-last-snow-melts

Mages, W. K. (2023). City girls. In J. Howard & C. Mayer (Eds.), Potato Soup Journal: Best of 2022 (pp. 262-264). Potato Soup Press. https://amzn.to/3JrAlgA

Mages, W. K. (2023). A dozen potatoes. On the Premises: Mini-Contest #57 (Honorable Mention). https://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_57/

Mages, W. K. (2023). Geneses: Traces and tribulations. 50-Word Storieshttp://fiftywordstories.com/2023/03/09/wendy-k-mages-geneses-traces-and-tribulations/

Mages, W. K. (2023). The guitar player. Bright Flash Literary Reviewhttps://brightflash1000.com/2023/08/03/the-guitar-player

Mages, W. K. (2023). Hair and social standards: Is beauty truly in the eye of the beholder? The AutoEthnographer, 3(2) https://theautoethnographer.com/is-beauty-truly-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder-hair-and-societal-standards/ 

Mages, W. K. (2023). Heart troubles. Caustic Frolic. https://causticfrolic.org/current-nonfiction/heart-troubles

Mages, W. K. (2023). The high diving board. Paper Dragonhttps://drexelpaperdragon.com/the-high-diving-board

Mages, W. K. (2023). Hornets’ treat & trick. 50-Word Stories. http://fiftywordstories.com/2023/10/03/wendy-k-mages-hornets-treat-trick

Mages, W. K. (2023). Intuit. Young Ravens Literary Reviewhttps://www.youngravensliteraryreview.org/yr18-wendy-k-mages.html

Mages, W. K. (2023). No pedal boats. Dorothy Parker’s Ashes. https://www.dorothyparkersashes.com/father/no-pedal-boats

Mages, W. K. (2023). Morning blooms. San Antonio Review. https://doi.org/10.21428/9b43cd98.c0739f7c

My mother’s hands. In T. Campbell (Ed.) Jarnal Volume 3: Transitions, pp. 30-34. Mason Jar Press. http://masonjarpress.com/chapbooks-1/jarnal-volume-2-edited-by-tara-campbell

Mages, W. K. (2023). Nimbus hidden. San Antonio Review. https://doi.org/10.21428/9b43cd98.c0739f7c

Mages, W. K. (2023). Of love & longing. Bright Flash Literary Review. https://brightflash1000.com/2023/12/05/of-love-longing/

Mages, W. K. (2023). Pennies from heaven. Jennyhttps://www.jennymag.org/spring-23-issue/pennies-from-heaven/

Mages, W. K. (2023). Portrait of a family: Swans carry on. Sea to Sky Reviewhttps://www.seatoskyreview.ca/january-2023-life-issue/portrait-of-a-family-swans-carry-on

Mages, W. K. (2023). Pristine. San Antonio Review. https://doi.org/10.21428/9b43cd98.c0739f7c

Mages, W. K. (2023). The question remains. Dreamers Creative Writing, (16), 6. https://www.dreamerswriting.com/wendy-mages/

Mages, W. K. (2023). Redheaded angel. Magpie Zinehttps://www.magpiezine.com/post/redheaded-angel

Mages, W. K. (2023). Springtime in New England. San Antonio Review. https://doi.org/10.21428/9b43cd98.c0739f7c

Mages, W. K. (2023). Sunward. San Antonio Review. https://doi.org/10.21428/9b43cd98.c0739f7c

Mages, W. K. (2023). There’s no place like home. LIGHT: Leaders Igniting Generational Healing & Transformation, 1, 74-75. https://light4ph.org/product/light-issue-1-how-might-we-recreate-public-health-as-art-letters-stories-and-poetry

Mages, W. K. (2023). The tortoise. In Collected winning poems from The Poetry Society of Virginia: Prize winning poems 2023 celebrating a century of distinguished poets (p. 89). Poetry Society of Virginia. ISBN:‎ 978-1667897684

Mages, W. K. (2023). A unicorn in winter. 50-Word Stories. https://fiftywordstories.com/2023/12/04/wendy-k-mages-a-unicorn-in-winter

Mages, W. K. (2023). Vivian. Quibblehttps://www.quibblelit.com/vivian-by-wendy-k-mages

Mages, W. K. (2022). City girls. Potato Soup Journalhttp://potatosoupjournal.com/city-girls-by-wendy-k-mages/

W. K. Mages. (2022). Dirty words. Funny Pearlshttps://funnypearls.com/2022/11/dirty-words-mages/

Mages, W. K. (2022) Embracing strangers. Antithesis Journal Bloghttps://antithesis-journal.squarespace.com/blog/2022/9/6/embracing-strangers

Mages, W. K. (2022). Framily. Hearth & Coffinhttps://www.hearthandcoffin.com/post/framily

Mages, W. K. (2022). Hatchling. Potato Soup Journalhttp://potatosoupjournal.com/hatchling-by-wendy-k-mages/

Mages, W. K. (2022). Memory of treasured worlds. New Croton Review, Summer 2022, 34. https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=ealuEAAAQBAJ&pg=GBS.PA33

Mages, W. K. (2022). Mirror, mirror. Quibblehttps://www.quibblelit.com/mirror-mirror-by-wendy-k-mages

Mages, W. K. (2022). Pollinators. Route 7 Reviewhttps://www.r7review.com/post/pollinators

Mages, W. K. (2022). Ridiculous rituals: Reasons, rules, and a rationale. Young Ravens Literary Reviewhttp://www.youngravensliteraryreview.org/yr16-wendy-k-mages.html

Mages, W. K. (2022). Salad dazed. In T. Green (Ed.), Our pandemic: Personal experiences of COVID-19. (p. 11). The Writer’s Workout. https://www.writersworkout.net/our-pandemic

Mages, W. K. (2022). The spitfire. Star 82 Reviewhttp://www.star82review.com/10.3/mages-spitfire.html

Mages, W. K. (2022). The stray. Five Minuteshttps://www.fiveminutelit.com/five-minutes/the-stray

Mages, W. K. (2022). A toad of a man. Harpy Hybrid Reviewhttp://www.harpyhybridreview.org/hybrid_works/a-toad-of-a-man   

Mages, W. K. (2022). Victor the Koala. Funny Pearlshttps://funnypearls.com/2022/07/koala-w-mages/

Mages, W. K. (2022). With time. Potato Soup Journalhttp://potatosoupjournal.com/with-time-by-wendy-k-mages/

Mages, W. (2021). A tale of 2020. In Manfred Scewe (Ed). 81 Sprüche zur enthärtung unserer welt: On the softening of our world 81 sayings. (p. 140) Schibri-Verlag. https://www.ucc.ie/en/scenario/scenariobooks/series/

Mages, W. K. (2019). Lima beans: An epiphany. Journal of Stories in Science. Retrieved from https://storiesinscience.org/2019/06/05/lima-beans-an-epiphany/

WestWord's Micro Fiction Prize 2024

WestWord's Hermit Crab Prize 2024

North American Review's 2024 Kurt Vonnegut Speculative Fiction Prize

2023 Prime Number Magazine Flash Fiction Contest

Dreamers Creative Writing 2023 Dreamers Flash Contest

2023 Poetry Society of Virginia

  • "The Tortoise" awarded 2nd place in the Handy Andy Prize for a Limerick
  • "Meeting on Zoom (again)" received Honorable Mention in the Dr. Lucille E. Thompson Memorial Contest for poems celebrating technology
  • 2023 Poetry Society of Virginia

Pushcart Prize Nominee
Nominated in by Quibble for a Pushcart Prize for "Mirror, Mirror," which was published in 2022

On the Premises: Mini-Contest #57
Honorable Mention

2022 LIGHT Contest "Top 5"
"There's No Place Like Home" placed in the Top 5 in its category in the 2022 LIGHT (Leaders Igniting Generational Healing and Transformation) contest for works addressing a public health issue.

2020 Mercy Faculty Innovation Award
This award recognizes the fundamental importance of faculty innovation

Fulbright Specialist Grant 
Fulbright Fellowship awarded to collaborate with colleagues at Pädagogische Hochschule Niederösterreich (University College of Teacher Education, Lower Austria)

American Educational Research Association Arts & Learning Special Interest Group
2011 Arts & Learning SIG Dissertation Award

This annual award recognizes excellence in an article based on a recently completed dissertation study.

American Alliance for Theatre and Education
2009 Distinguished Dissertation Award

This dissertation award recognizes excellence a recently completed dissertation study.