LaWanda Walters grew up in Mississippi and North Carolina. She earned her B.A. at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, an M.A. in Literature from California State University at Humboldt, and an M.F.A. in Poetry from Indiana University, where she won the Academy of American Poets Prize. Her poems have appeared in The Antioch Review, The Cincinnati Review, Cutthroat, The Georgia Review, The Laurel Review, North American Review, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, Southern Poetry Review, and Sou’wester. Her poem “Marilyn Monroe” appears in Obsession: Sestinas in the Twenty-First Century (Dartmouth College Press, 2014), and “Goodness in Mississippi” was chosen by Sherman Alexie for Best American Poetry 2015. She is the mother of two grown children, Tess Despres Weinberg and Sean Jason Weinberg, and lives with her husband, John Drury, in Cincinnati.