Valerie Nieman’s fourth novel, To the Bones, appeared in June 2019. Her third poetry collection, Leopard Lady: A Life in Verse, was published in fall 2018.
She was a 2013-2014 North Carolina Arts Council poetry fellow, and has received an NEA creative writing fellowship as well as major grants in West Virginia and Kentucky. Her awards include the Greg Grummer, Nazim Hikmet, and Byron Herbert Reece poetry prizes; the Emma Bell Miles Prize for the Essay; the Eric Hoffer Prize in General Fiction and the Willie Parker Peace History Book Prize.
Nieman is the author of Blood Clay, a novel of the New South; Survivors, a novel about the Rust Belt of the 1970s; and Neena Gathering, recently reissued as a classic in the post-apocalyptic genre. She also has published a collection of short stories, Fidelities, and two earlier poetry collections, Wake Wake Wake and Hotel Worthy.
Nieman graduated from West Virginia University and Queens University of Charlotte. A former newspaper reporter and editor, she now teaches creative writing at North Carolina A&T State University and at venues ranging from the John C. Campbell Folk School to WriterHouse. She was a founding editor of Kestrel and formerly the poetry editor of Prime Number magazine.
Awards and Recognition
- National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship
- North Carolina Arts Council poetry fellowship
- Kentucky Foundation for Women fellowship
- West Virginia Commission on the Arts fellowship
- Greg Grummer Prize in Poetry
- Elizabeth Simpson Smith prize in fiction
- Emma Bell Miles Prize for the Essay, Mountain Heritage Literary Festival, 2019
- Runner-up, Brockman-Campbell Book Prize, 2019
- Winner, Flyleaf Books annual poetry contest, 2017
- Winner, Seven Hills annual contest, YA fiction, 2017