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Poet and senior editor with Pudding Magazine: the Journal of Applied Poetry, Kathleen S. Burgess has won first prize for poetry from Sheila-Na-Gig and Confluence journals, placed in other national contests, won many statewide contests, and received four Pushcart Prize nominations and two Best of the Net nominations. In demand as a featured reader and contest judge, she has co-led Poetry Salon Columbus for more than a decade, served as a juror and traveling poet with Women of Appalachia’s Women Speak, and worked with two other critiquing groups Bistro Poets and the Southern Ohio Writers Collaborative. Shaping What Was Left and the anthology Burgess edited, Reeds and Rushes—Pitch, Buzz, and Hum, were published by Pudding House. The chapbook Gardening with Wallace Stevens is a publication of Locofo Chaps, Moria Books. In 2018, Bottom Dog Press released her full-length book, the memoir in poems, What Burden Do Those Trains Bear Away, about the year she spent hitchhiking and traveling 11,000 miles from Washington, D.C. to Lima, Peru, by way of the Pan American Highway, the Río Napo, the Amazon, and a train and roads through the Andes. NightBallet Press published The Wonder Cupboard in September, 2019.

Kathleen is also assistant poetry editor for the Northern Appalachia Review, a large, annual journal. See the website for information about the review, editors and staff, submissions, a map of the region of Northern/North Central Appalachia. The journal publishes writing that encompasses this region: Volume 4 is now available for order from Sunbury Books, Submissions to Volume 5 open April 1 through June 15, 2023, at


Burgess retired as a public school music teacher in Chillicothe. As a music educator she taught thousands of students, pre-kindergarten through adult, and directed more than 120 performances and musical plays. In her various careers she served as a union officer, statistical typist, clothes designer, crochet artist, server, factory worker,  founder and president of Datagang Corporation producing video and film for Grange Mutual, The Ohio State University Libraries, Ohio Endowment for the Humanities, private showings of original modern dance, music, and drama. She served as an administrator for a developmentally disabled men’s group home. Kathleen has traveled extensively throughout the Western Hemisphere, learning music from native musicians and collecting folk instruments she displays in Ohio libraries and schools. She composed and performed music for the feature film Amy. North American Review, Sou’wester, Evening Street Review, Malpaís Review, The Examined Life, Atticus Review, Turtle Island Quarterly, JMWW, Central American Poetry Review, and other journals and anthologies have published her poetry. Burgess served as vice president of the Ohio Poetry Association and program director for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies national convention in Ohio, 2004. She and husband/educator Jack Burgess live in Chillicothe, Ohio. The couple enjoy daily walks on Ohio’s rails-to-trails and in nature preserves. They also enjoy earthworks in Ross County and elsewhere in the United States and look forward to the eight Hopewell Earthworks (five of which are in Ross County) becoming a World Heritage Site. Two stepsons, another son and a daughter, friends, political activities, and the arts enrich their lives.

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