Chella Courington started graduate school intending to become a poet and studied for a year with James Dickey at the University of South Carolina. While Dickey was an excellent teacher and very encouraging to aspiring poets, Courington stopped writing poetry and pursued a Ph. D. in British and American Literature. In 2002 she migrated west with an economist and two cats and now teaches English at Santa Barbara City College. She returned to writing poetry in May 2003 after a lapse of twenty years.
Raised on Sand Mountain in the Appalachians of Alabama, Chella grew up in a town where relationships were warm and turbulent, loving and violent. If you weren't a white, Christian, conventional heterosexual, you were a misfit -- what many Southern folks still call "funny." Much of her recent poetry emerges from the past, examining the contradictions of family and attachment. The poetry in her chapbook, Southern Girl Gone Wrong, recalls the Gothic strain that runs through Southern writing from Zora Neale Hurston and Harper Lee to Alice Walker and Dorothy Allison.
Chella and her husband, Ted recently co-authored a one-act play that was successfully produced in Santa Barbara, CA.
Articles by Chella Courington
A Soft Place to Write July 15, 2005 (Chella Courington) Emailed from Pazzoria Bakery and Cafe, Portland, Oregon. I often write in coffeehouses. The charm is that I can. If I were writing in the eighteenth-century, I'd be banned... (complete article...)