ABOUT ME





Award-winning poet, essayist, and teacher Kathleen Driskell is Professor of Creative Writing and serves as the Chair of Spalding University's Sena Jeter Naslund-Karen Mann Graduate School of Writing, home of the nationally distinguished low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program in Louisville, Kentucky. 


Her forthcoming chapbook The Vine Temple, is part of the Cox Family Chapbook Series from Carnegie Mellon University Press. She is also the author of four full-length poetry collections.  Blue Etiquette published by Red Hen Press was a finalist for the Weatherford Award. Next Door to the Dead, a Kentucky Voices selection published by the University Press of Kentucky, won the Judy Gaines Young Book Award from Transylvania University

In addition to  Seed Across Snow (Red Hen Press), named a national bestseller by the Poetry Foundation, she is author of  Laughing Sickness (Fleur-de-Lis Press 1999, 2005 second printing), and Peck and Pock: A Graphic Poem (Fleur-de-Lis Explorations 2012), as well as the editor of two anthologies of creative writing. In 2021, with Katy Yocom, Driskell edited Creativity & Compassion: Spalding Writers Celebrate 20 Years (Good River Books), a collection of craft and writing life essays to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Spalding's MFA in Writing Program. 

Kathleen's poems and essays are forthcoming or have appeared in many nationally known literary magazines including The New Yorker, River Teeth, North American Review, The Southern Review, Appalachian Review, Symposeum, Shenandoah,  Cortland Review, and Rattle, and in The Kentucky Anthology, What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets, as well as online on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and American Life in Poetry.

Her essay "Keats in Your Time of Pandemic," won the Denny C. Plattner Award in 2020 from Appalachian Review and was cited as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2021

From 2019-2022, she served as Chair of the Board of Directors for The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), the largest professional organization for creative writers and creative writing academic programs in North America with over 55,000 members.  Driskell currently serves as a member of the editorial board of The University Press of Kentucky.

In 2013, Driskell was awarded the honor of Outstanding Faculty Member by Spalding University, and she previously served as faculty representative to the Spalding Board of Trustees and president of the Spalding University Faculty Senate. She founded and served two terms as chair for the Low-Residency MFA Program Directors' Caucus, which meets annually at the national AWP conference, and led a work-group that drafted the initial hallmarks of low-residency MFA in Writing Programs, best practices standards adopted by AWP. 

Kathleen lives outside Louisville with her family in an old country church built before The American Civil War.

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