Selected Works

Poetry Collection
Poems of love, loss, and survival
Debut poetry collection featuring work from Appalachia and beyond.
Fiction
Blood Clay, set in rural North Carolina, traces the "tangled social lines of the new South, the struggle of newcomers to belong, and of natives to keep their balance in changing times."
Gently Read Literature
"This charming, unpretentious novel delves into a different form of the pastoral, modeling itself on Thoreauvian attention to a person's place and moral actions in the spheres of nature, society, intellect..."
Publishers Weekly

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Welcome

Feet in the sand at Pacifica, CA - always close to water.
Valerie Nieman is a novelist and poet whose work draws on her life in Appalachia and the South.

Her most recent novel, Blood Clay, was a story of the New South that won the Eric Hoffer Award in General Fiction and was a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Prize.

Her 1988 novel Neena Gathering was returned to print as a classic in the post-apocalyptic genre.

She recently completed revisions on a fourth book, Backwater, a coming-of-age/​crime novel set in North Carolina, and is working on a three-book historical fantasy as well as a novel-in-verse.

She has been an NEA creative writing fellow and a North Carolina Arts Council fellow, and has held writing grants in West Virginia and Kentucky.

Her second poetry collection, Hotel Worthy, is newly published by Press 53, which also published her debut collection, Wake Wake Wake.Hotel Worthy Her poetry has been honored with the Greg Grummer, Byron Herbert Reece, and Nazim Hikmet prizes.

A graduate of West Virginia University and Queens University of Charlotte, she was a newspaper reporter and editor for many years. She now teaches creative writing at North Carolina A&T State University and is the poetry editor of Prime Number magazine.