Maryland, Federal Government Employees, Female, Genre, Hosts of Literary Salons, Spies

Betty Parry (January 5, 1927 - August 1, 1997)
Hugh J. Parry aka James Cross (1916 - 1997)

4814 Falstone Ave., Chevy Chase, MD 20815.

Betty Parry is the author of a book of poems, Shake the Parrot Cage (1994), and editor of the anthology The Unicorn and the Garden (1978). She coordinated two reading series: from 1973 to 1975, the Poetry and Literature Series at the Textile Museum in DC, which featured, according to Elisavietta Ritchie, "the Washington area's first major bi-racial readings, including African-American, African and Caribbean poets"; and from 1980 to 1981, the Gunston Arts Center Poetry Series in Arlington, VA.

Betty Parry also created literary events while serving as president of the Literary Friends of DC Library, and served on the board of the Duke Ellington School for the Arts. Her final large project was a two-day colloquium at the Folger Shakespeare Library in April 1981, called "In the Shadow of the Capitol," documenting segregation and its effects on the culture and intellectual history of African Americans in DC.

In addition to her writing and activism, Betty Parry worked as a public relations consultant and raised four children, two from each of her two marriages.

Hugh Parry was married to Betty Parry for 36 years. He wrote science fiction, mystery and horror under the pseudonym James Cross and published book reviews and essays on foreign relations under his own name. His novels include Root of Evil (1957), The Dark Road (1960), The Grave of Heroes (1961), and To Hell for Half-a-Crown (1967); several of his short stories were also included in anthologies of mystery and science fiction.

Hugh Parry spent his career working for the US information Agency. He attended Columbia University and Yale, where he earned a PhD in sociology, and was fluent in French, and also spoke Spanish, Italian, and German. Betty and Hugh hosted numerous gatherings in their home to bring together American and foreign writers.


Beltway Poetry Quarterly, "Elisavietta Ritchie on Betty Parry"