My imagination makes me human
and makes me a fool;
it gives me all the world
and exiles me from it.
--Ursula K. Le Guin
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Judy Loest Bio

I am a writer of poetry and nonfiction, dabble in fiction, HTML, watercolor. Born in a "holler" in the Appalachian Mountains of western Virgnia, I now live in Knoxville, TN, where I earned a Master's Degee in English from the University of Tennessee in 1998.

Awards include Bain-Swiggett Prize for poetry, UT Eng. Dept. (1997); Columbia Scholastic Press Association's Collegiate Gold Circle Award for poetry, forms (1998); Libba Moore Gray Poetry Prize (1998); Special Merit in the League of American Penwomen's Soul-Making Literary Contest (2000); Vesle Fenstermaker Poetry Prize at the 2000 Indiana University Writers' Conference; and the James Still Award for Poetry (2004). In 2004, I was one of 7 first-place winners in the co-sponsored Poetry Society of America and Olay Fine Lines Poetry Contest. My winning poem appeared the following year on public transportation in the Twin Cities as part of PSA's Poetry in Motion program.

My poetry and nonfiction have appeared in Cortland Review, Phoenix Literary/Art Magazine, Now & Then, New Millennium Writings, StorySouth, Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry, Crossroads: A Southern Culture Annual and anthologies All Around Us: Poems from the Valley (1999), Breathing the Same Air (2000), Literary Lunch (2002), and Migrants & Stowaways (2004). I have also published travel writing in France Magazine (2003, 2004) and commentary in Metropulse, and Knoxville Voice.

In 2004, I edited Knoxville Bound, an anthology of literary works inspired by Knoxville, TN. My poetry chapbook, After Appalachia was published by Finishing Line Press in December 2007. I am currently co-editing (along with Bob Cummings of Iris Press, a collection of poetry by George Scarbrough.