After changing majors every semester, Rita Mae Reese dropped out of college and went to work for a lesbian press. She’d worked there for nearly seven years when a visiting author convinced her to quit and go back to school full time. Rita Mae earned a BA in American Studies and an MA in Creative Writing at Florida State University and then an MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While pursuing her MFA, she worked at the Dictionary of American Regional English and immersed herself in the online edition of the Oxford English Dictionary where she began to find poetry in etymology.
Rita Mae has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a Stegner fellowship, and a “Discovery”/The Nation award. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her family.
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