Lora Keller was born in 1957 in Memphis, Tennessee and grew up in Wisconsin’s Fox River Valley. As a child, she pounded out poems on her toy typewriter and today counts as her treasures… her great uncle’s stately, black Remington as well as her mom’s portable green-keyed Smith Corona.
In 1979, she earned a degree in creative writing and worked for many years as a professional writer and small business owner. In 2012, she recommitted to poetry and worked with a writing coach to develop her skills. In that time, dozens of her poems have been published in a variety of literary journals including: Blast Furnace, NPR’s Tell Me More blog, Poised In Flight: An Anthology, Lantern Journal, The New Poet, Midwest Quarterly, Midwest Prairie Review, Reed, Xanadu and Verse Wisconsin. In 2014, her poem, "On Shawano Lake," won first prize at the Writers' Institute of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her poem "American Mother" was recently nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize.
Lora also creates fiber art using words, paper, fabric and threads. And now driftwood and sea glass. She studied surface design at Peters Valley in New Jersey; the Split Rock Arts Program at the University of Minnesota; and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Her work has been exhibited and sold at many regional art galleries.
After living in New York City and Kansas City, Lora now resides in Milwaukee and, to celebrate turning 60 in 2017,she decided to devote herself to writing and fiber art full-time. She's working on a couple non-fiction and poetry books and is grateful for the extra sleep she gets now that she doesn't have to wake at 4 a.m. to write before heading to her office.
The photo included here is her first scooter ride. In Vietnam! See her Visual Art web page for samples of some of the work her trip inspired.