I grew up in the foothills of Appalachia in Morehead KY and on the Cumberland Plateau in Cookeville TN. Now I live in a different landscape in Champaign IL. A sense of place informs much of my writing. After publishing four pulp romances, I turned exclusively to literary writing and published two Appalachian short story collections, Small Caucasian Woman and Brier Country, both with the University of Missouri Press. Coming late to poetry, I published two poetry chapbooks, Taking the Train and The Dailiness of It, with Grex Press. I started writing poetry in order to voice what it is like to be the mother of a child with serious physical and mental disabilities. Along the way I have published many book reviews and essays as well. My third poetry chapbook, Going Places (FutureCycle Press), juxtaposes my Appalachian roots with the Midwest landscape. My latest poetry chapbook, How to Prepare Escargots, contains poetry about writing and writers. For some years I have served as the book review editor of Pegasus, the journal of the Kentucky State Poetry Society, and as the moderator of the Red Herring Fiction Workshop in Champaign-Urbana. I am also a member of the Glass Room Poets of Champaign-Urbana. I live in west Champaign with my husband, Michael Palencia-Roth. The letters of my maternal great-great grandfather form the heart of my latest book,"On Rising Ground:" The Life and Civil War Letters of John M. Douthit, 52nd Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment Mercer University Press).

Other Works

  • How to Prepare Escargots; Poems

  • The Literary Heritage of Hindman Settlement School

  • Going Places

  • The Dailiness of It: Poems

  • Brier Country: More Stories from Blue Valley

  • Taking the Train

  • Small Caucasian Woman: Stories