Welcome to my page ~

I’m a poet and writer. My memoir, The Tree You Come Home To, was published in late 2021, with Legacy Book Press. You can order it through amazon or Barnes & Noble.

I’m excited that my composite novel, Letters from the Karst, will be published in 2024, also with Legacy Book Press. Check out the “fiction” tab for more.

My poetry collection, Seeking the Others Side, was published in 2015 by Fleur-de-Lis Press, and my chapbook, Tree Forms, came out in 2011 by Finishing Line Press. My poems and stories have appeared in Nimrod, Poetry Northwest, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Adirondack Review, and Briar Cliff Review, among others. An essay “The Weight of a Human Heart” won the grand prize in Memoir Journal‘s special gun issue. All of my recent writing focuses on the death of our youngest son, Casey, who was shot by a drunk gun collector about twenty minutes from home.

I earned a Ph.D. in English, with a minor in feminist studies, at the University of Minnesota, in 1996. I taught at Western Kentucky University for 25 years. My scholarly work has focused on American, African American, and Native American literature, with an emphasis on race and gender, and I have articles in Contemporary Literature and African American Review, and another about Langston Hughes’ fiction that originally appeared in Black Orpheus and was reprinted in Short Story Criticism. My colleague Elizabeth Oakes and I founded and edited the Kentucky Feminist Writers Series, which led to three volumes, of poetry, fiction, and life writing. Telling Stories and I to I are still available. This series has been a tremendous experience and opportunity to meet some of the wonderful women writers who live in all parts of the Commonwealth.

I’m married to a professor of philosophy and religion at a community college about an hour from Bowling Green. We have three grandchildren and three sons, the youngest of whom was killed in the fall of 2009, an ongoing heartache for us—his family and friends. We recently adopted his child, our joy.

Please check back—and wish me luck! You can reach me at janeolmsted, at google.