Nickole Brown received her MFA from Vermont College, studied literature at Oxford University, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson.
She’s the author of Sister, a novel-in-poems, first published in 2007 by Red Hen Press, and reissued in 2018. Her second book, Fanny Says (BOA Editions), a biography-in-poems about her grandmother, won the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Poetry in 2015. She worked at Sarabande Books for ten years, and served as longtime co-editor of the Marie Alexander Poetry Series. While she gave up her assistant professorship at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to devote herself to her writing, Nickole continues to teach periodically at the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program, the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA, Poets House, the Poetry Center at Smith College, and the Hindman Settlement School, among other places.
Nickole lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs, in Asheville, NC, where she volunteers at several 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 nature writing. To Those Who Were Our First Gods, a chapbook of these 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 Jessica. They regularly teach generative writing sessions together as part of their SunJune Literary Collaborative.