Lissa Kiernan was born the middle daughter of three to Claudette (Viau) and Dennis Kiernan in Athol, Massachusetts. She spent her eleventh year in Nashville, Tennessee.
A classically-trained pianist and flutist, Lissa began her higher education as a music performance major in Ann Arbor, Michigan before working as an au pair in Paris, France, and returning home to finish her BA in English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
She moved to New York City where she settled in Brooklyn and lived for thirty years, earning her MA in Media Studies from The New School for Social Research, and working in the computer arts.
After earning her MFA from the Stonecoast Creative Writing program at the University of Southern Maine, she founded The Poetry Barn, a literary center based in New York's Catskill Park, where she now lives and works as an arts administrator and event producer.
Her first book of prose, Glass Needles & Goose Quills, won the Nautilus Gold Award for lyric prose and the Independent Book Award in the cross-genre category.
Her first full-length volume of poetry, Two Faint Lines in the Violet (Negative Capability Press, 2014), was a finalist for the Indiefab Book of the Year and Julie Suk Award for Best Poetry Book by an Independent Press.
Her soundtracks have been adapted by filmmakers Othniel Smith and Marc Neys and her poems set to music by the composer James Johnston.
Individual poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.
She is married and lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and a fluctuating number of felines.
Photo ©Chris Abramides