Indiana University Creative Writing Program
Creative Writing Program
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(2006 Graduate)

Hometown: Harrisburg, Illinois

Kathleen Balma is a Fulbright Fellow and winner of the Pushcart Prize. She is a teacher-librarian from the Ohio River Valley in Southern Illinois, an area that is nicknamed Little Egypt, possibly for its geographic similarity to the Nile Delta. This may have been a factor in her decision to move to Alexandria, Louisiana, but honestly, what poet could resist becoming a "Librarian of Alexandria," given the chance? Ms. Balma spent a gap year in Australia before earning a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Southern Illinois University, followed by an MFA, MLS, and K-12 teaching license from Indiana University. She lived in the Hoosier state for a total of eight years and has since made her home in Spain, where she worked as a Fulbright English teacher at a bilingual elementary school, and in New England, where she worked as a middle school Spanish teacher and a university literature instructor. She has traveled extensively on a shoestring budget to countries on or near the Mediterranean, including Portugal, France, Andorra, Morocco, Italy, Vatican City, and Turkey. Her first book of poetry, tentatively entitled VASE, is near completion.

Publications and Prizes

  • Anthologies: Pushcart Prize XXXVII (Pushcart Press, 2013)

  • Journals: 2 River Review, Antique Children, Atlanta Review, Booth , Calliope, Canto, Chiron Review, Coldfront, Crab Orchard Review, Crate, Cutbank, Drunken Boat, Good Foot, Mid-American Review, Prick of the Spindle, Puerto del Sol, Rattle, Salamander, Sixth Finch, StarLine, storySouth, SUSS: Another Literary Journal, The Cafe Review

  • Prizes: Pushcart Prize XXXVII (2013); Pushcart Prize nomination (2012); International Publication Award, Atlanta Review (2010); Fulbright Grant (Spain, 2007-2008); Roy Battenhouse Memorial Award, National Society of Arts and Letters (Bloomington, Indiana chapter, 2004); Editor's Choice, James Wright Poetry Award (2003).