Kate Cumiskey is a teacher currently working at the University of Central Florida. She grew up on the island at New Smyrna Beach, Florida, arriving there as a small child from her native Alabama. Her family came with the inception of the Space Program at Cape Canaveral; Kate’s father was one of NASA’s first designers. He was also a civil rights worker in Birmingham in the early 1960′s–a true Southern liberal and Southern Baptist, her father’s strong influence comes through in her poetry and her prose. The influence of her Atlanta belle mother as well as five brothers also informs her work. She and her husband Mikel lived in California and North Carolina, then raised four sons in the New Smyrna area. Kate is dedicated to impacting her community through education and volunteering. Having raised a son with Autism Spectrum Disorder, she is fiercely concerned with the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities and with educating the public on valuing difference and teaching tolerance. She is heavily influenced by her mentors, particularly Robert Creeley, Mark Cox, Clyde Edgerton, and nonfiction writer Philip Gerard. She also enjoys a close working relationship with her sister and fellow poet, Carol Ann Davis. Kate takes every opportunity to learn from master writers who visit the wonderful artists’ colony Atlantic Center for the Arts on Turnbull Bay in coastal Florida.