Valerie Nieman is the author of four, soon to be five, novels: To the Bones, released in June 2019; Blood Clay, a novel of the New South, which was honored with the Eric Hoffer Prize in General Fiction; Survivors, a novel about the Rust Belt of the 1970s, and her first book, Neena Gathering, reissued in 2012 as a classic in the post-apocalyptic genre. Backwater, a YA/crossover thriller set in North Carolina, will be published in Spring 2022 by Regal House/Fitzroy Books. She is at work on a hybrid narrative based on a month hiking solo in Scotland.
Her third poetry collection, Leopard Lady: A Life in Verse, debuted with a reading at the Coney Island Museum was was a runner-up for the Brockman-Campbell Book Prize. Her second poetry collection, Hotel Worthy, appeared in 2015 from Press 53, and poems from that book were nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best Short Fictions of 2016, where the title poem was a finalist. She is also the author of Wake Wake Wake, and a collection of short stories, Fidelities.
She was a 2013-2014 North Carolina Arts Council poetry fellow, and has received an NEA creative writing fellowship as well as major grants in West Virginia and Kentucky. Her awards include the Greg Grummer, Nazim Hikmet, and Byron Herbert Reece poetry prizes.
Nieman graduated from West Virginia University and Queens University of Charlotte. A former newspaper reporter and editor, she now teaches creative writing at North Carolina A&T State University and at venues ranging from the John C. Campbell Folk School to WriterHouse.