Nickole Brown

North Carolina, United States

Member Since: 08/22/2012

Nickole Brown received her MFA from the Vermont College, studied literature at Oxford University, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She worked at Sarabande Books for ten years. Her first collection, Sister, a novel-in-poems, was published in 2007 with a new edition reissued in 2018. Her second book, a biography-in-poems about her grandmother called Fanny Says, came out from BOA Editions in 2015 and won the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Poetry. The audio book of that collection came out in 2017. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Kentucky Arts Council. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for four years and was the co-editor of the Marie Alexander Poetry Series for ten. Currently, she teaches periodically at a number of places, including the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program, the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA, and the Hindman Settlement School. She lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs, in Asheville where she volunteers at a three different animal sanctuaries. Since 2016, she’s been writing about these animals, resisting the kind of pastorals that made her (and many of the working-class folks from the Kentucky that raised her) feel shut out of nature and the writing about it. Her work speaks in a Southern-trash-talking way about nature beautiful, damaged, dangerous, and in desperate need of saving. To Those Who Were Our First Gods, a chapbook of these first nine poems, won the 2018 Rattle Prize, and her essay-in-poems, The Donkey Elegies, was published by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2020. In 2021, Spruce Books of Penguin Random House published Write It! 100 Poetry Prompts to Inspire, a book she co-authored with her wife Jessica Jacobs, and they regularly teach generative writing sessions together as part of their SunJune Literary Collaborative. 







Twitter Username: @nickolebrown


  • Fanny Says: Poems , BOA (May 15)
  • Sister: A Novel-in-Verse , Red Hen Press (September 1, 2007)
  • To Those Who Were Our First Gods: A Chapbook , Rattle (December 1, 2018)
  • The Donkey Elegies , Sibling Rivalry Press (February 1, 2020)


  • Cultural Center of Cape Cod Poetry Competition(2013)
  • Orlando Poetry Prize, AROHO(2010)
  • NEA Fellowship(2009)
  • Weatherford Award in Appalachian Poetry(2015)


  • Assistant Professor at University of Arkansas at Little Rock (August 2011 - August 2015)
  • Faculty at Sewanee Young Writers Conference (June 2012 - )
  • Faculty at Murray State Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing (January 2009 - )
  • Editor at The Marie Alexander Poetry Series at White Pine (January 2009 - )
  • Director of Marketing & Development at Sarabande Books (August 1999 - August 2009)
  • Faculty at Sewanee School of Letters MFA (June 2017 - )
  • President at The Hellbender Gathering of Poets (August 2022 - )


  • Bachelor of Arts in English from University of Louisville (May 1996)
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts (December 2003)

Genres of Interest

Creative nonfiction, Poetry