For ValerieNieman, walking came before writing, but they go together. The child who wandered near her homeplace on the Allegheny Plateau become the adult who, with more time (college professor rather than journalist) and a bit more money, was able to put her feet on paths as far north as the furthest Orkney island and tread the routes of prehistory in the Perigord. This walking meditation has yielding two poetry collections – HotelWorthy, most recent, in 2015 – as well as three novels and a book of short stories. Nieman has held fellowships from the NEA, North Carolina and West Virginia arts councils, and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Her 2011 novel, Blood Clay, won the Eric Hoffer Prize in General Fiction and was a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Prize. Nieman graduated from West Virginia University and Queens University of Charlotte and now teaches writing at North Carolina A&T State University. Most recent wandering: a month of solo hiking in the Scottish Highlands in research for a historical novel.