February 24, 2018


Kory Wells grew up on the stories of her southern Appalachian family and the wonder of the Space Age, diverse influences that have shaped her life’s work and writing. 


Author of the poetry collection Heaven Was the Moon (March Street Press, 2009), she also performs her poetry on the album Decent Pan of Cornbread, a collaboration with her daughter, old-time musician Kelsey Wells.

In June 2017, Kory was named the inaugural poet laureate of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where she has lived most of her life. She is the founder and frequent host of Poetry in the Boro, a monthly poetry reading and open mic. She mentors poetry students in the low-residency program MTSU Write and has worked as a teaching artist for Nashville’s Handmade & Bound festivals through Watkins College of Art, Design & Film.

The intersection of Kory’s writing and tech careers occurs in her essay “Really Good for a Girl” which leads the anthology She’s Such a Geek: Women Write About Science, Technology and Other Nerdy Stuff. Ladies Home Journal picked Geek as one of its December 2006 “Books We Love” and singled out Kory’s writing that will “resonate with any woman, geek or not.”

Winner of the 2016 HeartWood Broadside Series and two-time finalist for the Rash Award for Poetry, her work appears in Ascent, The James Dickey Review, POEM, Unsplendid, The Southern Poetry Anthology, and other publications. Her novel-in-progress was a finalist in the William Faulkner competition.


Heaven Was the Moon

Heaven Was the Moon: Poems by Kory Wells. March Street Press, 2009.A seventh generation Tennessean, Kory was born in Chattanooga. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Middle Tennessee State University and has been a writer-in-residence at Rivendell Writers Colony.Read about Kory’s start to writing or sample some of her poems published online.


2 Elizabeths, APIARY Magazine, Ascent, Broad River Review, Chapter 16, Christian Science Monitor, Contemporary Haibun Online, Deep South Magazine, Forage, Kudzu, Literary Mama, Mothers Always Write, the museum of americana, New Southerner, Now & Then, Number One, Parks & Points, Passager, Pindeldyboz, POEM, Red Paint Hill Poetry Journal, Rock & Sling, Ruminate, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Southern Women’s Review, Stirring, Unsplendid, The Wild WordWords Dance, and others, including a cookbook (poetry in a cookbook – yes!).


HelenThe James Dickey Review