DARLIN’ NEAL is a native Mississippian who spent her childhood traveling New Mexico and attending 13 different grade schools. After completing degrees in Psychology, Journalism and English at New Mexico State, she left Las Cruces and headed for Tucson. Upon finishing her MFA at the University of Arizona, she returned to Mississippi in search of her roots. In 2001 she completed a PhD at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers.
Among her awards are a fiction fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a Henfield Transatlantic Award, New Mexico State University’s Frank Waters Fiction Fellowship, and the Joan Johnson Award from the Center for Writers. Her work has appeared in The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Puerto del Sol, Smokelong Quarterly, Eleven Eleven, The Rio Grande Review, and dozens of other magazines. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous anthologies including the Best of The Web 2009 and Online Writing: The Best of The First Ten Years. She holds an assistant professorship in the MFA program at The University of Central Florida.
In the past, she taught writing at The University of Arizona, The University of Southern Mississippi, Ole Miss, James Madison University, Clemson, Mississippi Valley State, at Half Moon Bay, and in Holly Springs and Grenada, Mississippi, the last two as a writer in residence for the Mississippi Arts Commission and NEA’s All Write program for literacy, a program begun by the late poet Aleda Shirley.
She lives in Orlando and Jensen Beach, Florida with a calico named Maggie, her guy and a dog named Catfish.