Darnell Arnoult was born and raised in Henry County, Virginia. She has also lived in North Carolina, South Carolina, and currently resides in Tennessee. She is the author of GALAXIE WAGON:POEMS from Louisiana State University Press (2016), as well as WHAT TRAVELS WITH US: POEMS (2004), winner of the 2005 Weatherford Award for Appalachian Literature and named 2006 SIBA Poetry Book of the Year. Her novel, SUFFICIENT GRACE, published by Free Press/Simon & Schuster in 2005, received a starred review from PUBLISHERS' WEEKLY and was selected as a Book Sense suggested book club read. She received the Mary Frances Hobson Medal in Arts and Letters and was named 2007 Tennessee Writer of the Year. Her shorter works have appeared in such journals as SOUTHERN CULTURES, SOUTHWEST REVIEW, ASHEVILLE POETRY REVIEW, and anthologies including APPALACHIA NOW: SHORT STORIES FROM CONTEMPORARY APPALACHIA (Bottom Dog Press), SEEKING ITS OWN LEVEL: MOTIF V, (Motes Books) and SOUTHERN POETRY ANTHOLOGY VOL VII: NORTH CAROLINA and VOL VIL TENNESSEE (Texas Review Press).
"I became a grandmother at 48 and my books followed. I'm glad because it keeps things in perspective. I wanted to be a writer since I was a schoolgirl, and I'm so grateful to be a published author, but the books pale in comparison to grandchildren."
Arnoult is Writer-in-Residence at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN, where she teaches creative writing and co-directs the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival and the Appalachian Young Writers Workshop, co-edits DRAFTHORSE: A LITERARY JOURNAL OF WORK AND NO WORK, and directs ARTS IN THE GAP. She also teaches creative writing at Table Rock Writers Workshop in Little Switzerland, NC, John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, Learning Events Sweetwater, TN, as well as independent novel and memoir workshops at the foot of the Cumberland Gap on the borders of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee.
Arnoult holds the MFA from University of Memphis, and MA from North Carolina State University, and BA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She worked for nine years at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. "I'm working my way through the ACC," she is fond of saying. "I also married a man from Georgia Tech." She lives in Cumberland Gap with her husband, metal artist William Brock, an Australian shepherd named Doc Holliday, and a cat named Big Nose Kate.