About Kathleen

Kathleen Nalley’s poetry grapples with taboo subjects we often do not wish to confront, but should: familial abuse, sexual violence, oppression, and gender, social, and economic inequalities. You can feel a combustible anger bubbling under the surface of her poems, yet her work rails against and reconciles with those forces that seek to destroy the human spirit. Her poetic message, therefore, is ultimately one of unyielding hope.

Kathleen is the author of the poetry chapbooks Nesting Doll (winner of the SC Poetry Prize) and American Sycamore (Finishing Line Press), and the full-length collection, Gutterflower (Red Paint Hill Press). She holds an MFA from Converse College, teaches literature and writing at Clemson University, is a contributor to several regional magazines, and is a book matchmaker at M. Judson Booksellers in Greenville, S.C. She has always made her home in South Carolina.


  • Idol-South Award for Writing, 2017
  • Bryant-Lisembee Editor’s Prize, 2017
  • Saluda River Poetry Prize, 2016
  • SC Poetry Initiative Prize, 2013