Pen & Ink Communications

Straight to the point


Essays and/or articles included in the following books:

My Beautiful Bahrain compiled and edited by Robin Barratt in 2012

What Women Really Want compiled by Robin Barratt in 2015


Planks of History: Stories of the Crow River and Bridge 92366 has just been released. Commissioned by the Hanover Historical Society, author Mary Coons takes us on a historical tour of Hanover's iconic bridge and stories of the North Crow River at Hanover.


Safe from the outside world: A social history of Hanover, Minnesota

This book, my first commissioned book by the Hanover Historical Society, was released in 2004.

A social history perspective allows one to imagine historical events as they affected groups collectively, not just the effect upon the well-to-do who lived in large cities. Safe From the Outside World is about the everyday people in and around Hanover and the frameworks within which they lived. 

Intermingled throughout are snippets of German folklore and attitudes accompanying the settlers to their new homeland. I have attempted to capture snapshots of the ordinary folk and their lifestyles, and how they contributed in their own ways to Hanover's development beginning with the Vollbrecht brothers, other early homesteaders and first business people on down to those experiencing the Great Depression and now seasoned with age. The stories of Hanover are told through vivid memories and life as the storytellers and their families embraced it.

Presentation Testimonials

"This was the most rewarding educational interaction I've had with a group of students, EVER! Honestly, very eyeopening for them, as NONE of them have ever been outside the U.S. You have inspired them to think bigger and past the limits of American mainstream culture. What a perfect way to promote a country and learn firsthand about the complex fabric that intertwines culture and religion. Thank you."

Brenda Butterfield, MSW, instructor

Marriages & Families Worldwide

University of Minnesota-Duluth

"You clearly helped to promote a greater understanding of these two cultures through your well-illustrated and clearly presented PowerPoint program. We at the Alworth Institute appreciate the work that you are doing to enhance both Arab and American understanding of the other. This is so important at a time when simple ignorance can exacerbate political tensions."

Cindy Christian, PhD

Program Associate

Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Institute for International Studies

University of Minnesota-Duluth

"To have you and Ms. al Sheroogi both on campus to discuss both Ms. Coons' excellent book and the larger issues of truth and perception between our communities was a powerful experience for all who attended. As you said, the future of relations between all sorts of groups and individuals depends on their ability to see each other without preconceived ideas and assmptions. The truth, in many ways, shall set us free."

Marcellus Davis, Director of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

Michael Wall, Director of Alumni Relations

Anoka-Ramsey Community College

Coon Rapids, Minnesota

"I enjoyed the human application of what education can do to bring people together. I think it's so important to have these presentations for people with inaccurate assumptions of the Arab culture and Muslim religion."

Anonymous audience member

Rasmussen College

"I would definitely recommend the speaker. Although Indoc gives us information about the Arab culture, the speaker had more overall information with more cultural information. Indoc needs to include her to help prepare Americans coming to the Middle East to know more about the culture here."

Anonymous military soldier

NSA Bahrain

Kingdom of Bahrain

"Schools should be busting down doors to have her speak. Cultural awareness should be part of every school's curriculum through all grades!"

Anonymous audience participant

Buffalo Unitarian Church

Buffalo, Minnesota

"This lecture was one of the most interesting lectures I have ever attended. It made more sense when Mary told us that Arab was a culture and Islam was a religion, and that culture could rank higher in some cases over the religion."


University of Minnesota - Duluth


"Mary, thank you so much for  hosting our Modern Knowledge School staff here in Bahrain and providing an exceptional presentation. Your footprints are changing the lives of our future and promoting peace." 


Dr. Cynthia Gessling, Director of Curriculum

Modern Knowledge School, Juffair, Kingdom of Bahrain


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