Samantha Deal is a poet, essayist, and editor from Boone, North Carolina. She holds a BA from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MFA from UNC-Wilmington, and a PhD in English & Creative Writing at Western Michigan University, where she specialized in documentary poetry, cross-genre writing, & the American "long poem." While at Western Michigan, she taught undergraduate literature/writing courses; co-coordinated the Poets in Print Reading Series; and served as an editor for the New Issues Press first book series. An avid supporter of local bookstores and small presses, she has worked for journals and organizations such as Ecotone, The North Carolina Writers' Network, Barefoot Books, and Third Coast—where she served as nonfiction editor. She has also taught courses at Coastal Carolina Community College and UNC-Wilmington.
Samantha is the winner of the 2016 Writers at Work fellowship in creative nonfiction and has been a finalist for prizes from Mississippi Review, The Boiler, River Styx, OSU Press/The Journal, Tupelo Quarterly, and Sonora Review, among others. Her creative work has appeared in Best New Poets 2017, Ninth Letter, Hunger Mountain (where she was selected by Kathleen Graber as an honorable mention for the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize), Quarterly West, Rattle, and other journals. Samantha's first poetry collection, Something Opened, was a runner-up for the 2017 Hudson Prize and was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2019. A lover of all things water, Samantha divides her time between Boone and Wrightsville Beach (where she spends as much time as possible attempting to surf).