Poet Christine Delea, the daughter of two high school teachers, was born in a neighborhood called West Islip in Long Island, New York. She spent her entire childhood there -- graduating from West Islip High School in 1978 -- before moving to Marietta, Ohio to attend college. Delea received a bachelor's degree from Marietta College, with a double major in English and Psychology-Sociology.
She moved to West Virginia for graduate studies at Marshall University; there, she received her MA in English and completed two theses -- "a collection of poems, and a critical thesis on Shirley Jackson." In 1996, Delea earned a Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing from the University of North Dakota.
Delea is currently an assistant professor in Eastern Kentucky University's English Department. She lives with her husband, Mel White.
Delea's poems have appeared in fifteen publications and two anthologies. In 2000, she published the Chapbook Ordinary Days in Ordinary Places. Two of her poems are also included in the anthology, I Have My Own Song for It: Modern Poems of Ohio, including "Leaving Downtown Marietta, Ohio, 1983."
A member of nine professional poets' and writers' associations, Delea has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and has won over twenty other awards, including an Academy of American Poets University Award.
When not writing poetry, Delea can likely be found quilting (a favorite hobby she learned while living in Oregon) or honing her comedic skills, as she is a member of an Oregon improvisational comedy group called Knockin' Biscuits.
Following is an excerpt from The Skeleton Holding Up the Sky.
Bones dream that the moon breaks
down into concealed stones
they crack and roll over the dead,
little pieces of leaves long dropped from trees,
large beasts whose corpses lump under stars
and fail to soak into the earth or edge
into pre-determined graves of moss.