Is an Associate Professor of English at Northern Kentucky University where she serves as Director of Graduate Studies and the Coordinator of Creative Writing. She has three collections of poetry published both nationally and internationally--Waiting for a Warm Body to Fill It (Wales); A Thousand Wings (Ireland); and Bird Blind (California)--and a chapbook titled Ghost Act (Chicago). She also has many publications in literary journals such as The Laurel Review, Rattle, Colorado Review, and Mid-American Review. Lately, she has been working on creative nonfiction, which includes an essay recently published in The Truth about the Fact: International Journal of Literary Nonfiction that describes a research trip to France to study the pagan origins of the black madonna.
A good deal of her work has focused on silence and she has spent years studying silence while on retreats to Trappist monasteries in Kentucky and Colorado. At a 2018 nonfiction conference in Iceland Kelly presented a paper on the scientific evidence showing silence allows a purer memory recall and how that recall is useful, perhaps essential, for writing . She will be spending the spring 2018 semester in Romania for her sabbatical where she will be completing both a poetry and essay collection, both of which have been solicited from Irish and California presses. Her time working with the students and Joan on this project has been invigorating, and she feels very lucky for being included.