Mary Ann (Braunlin) Coleman was born in Marion, Indiana. When she was eight, illness caused her to stay at home for a year, where she was tutored. During this time, she read and wrote poems. In the fourth grade, she started a writing club in a playhouse in her backyard where she, her sister, and a friend each chose a person from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and wrote their own stories about that character.
After attending Indiana University for three years majoring in Education and minoring in Sociology, she transferred to Auburn University in Alabama, where she earned a BS in Elementary Education. Her first position was as a first grade teacher in Pompano, Florida. The next few years were spent in welfare work and teaching.
She married Oliver M. Coleman, Jr. who later became an associate professor at UGA. They had two sons, Jeffery Boyer and Christopher Braunlin. While they lived in Decatur, Georgia, Mary Ann studied poetry at Emory University. When their sons were in elementary school, she began to teach poetry workshops in the schools. She also taught poetry for many years at The Georgia Center for Continuing Education and The Conference for Children's Literature.
Mary Ann's poems have appeared in English Journal, MS magazine, National Forum, Kansas Quarterly, Commonweal, Chattahoochee Review, The Georgia Review, Negative Capability, The Georgia Journal, Pembroke Magazine, Poets On:, Cats, Cricket, and numerous other magazines.
The collection consists of journals, correspondence, photographs, poetry, prose, office files, publications, AV, and artifacts dated from 1938 to 2003. The bulk of the collection is Mrs. Coleman's poetry worksheets, publications and office files related to her career as a poet, writer, and teacher. Also included are items from her personal life such as journals, and correspondence from family and friends.
The papers are organized into two series: I. Personal and II. Professional. Series I. Personal materials is further divided into six sub-series: 1.1 Journals, 1.2 Correspondence, 1.3 Family, 1.4 Photographs, 1.5 Address Books, 1.6 Artifacts. Series II. Professional materials is divided into nine sub-series: 2.1. Poetry, 2.2 Prose, 2.3 Teaching, 2.4 Biographical Information, 2.5 Reviews, 2.6 Correspondence, 2.7 Journals, 2.8 Publications, and 2.9 Audiovisual materials.