Author PhotoAbout the Author:

~Winner, 2013 Pioneer Prize~

Annalee Vilen Kwochka is an undergraduate Disability Studies Major at Davidson College in North Carolina, where she does research on the stigma surrounding mental illness and hopes to pursue graduate work in Clinical Psychology. Poetry is her first love and a lifelong passion; she sees both poetry and science as powerful voices in her journey towards mental health both for herself and others.

Annalee’s poems have previously appeared in Emerge Literary Journal and the NC Poetry Society’s annual awards journal, Pinesong. She also occasionally stumbles into the world of spoken-word poetry (recordings of her poems can be found on Davidson College’s spoken-word youtube Channel, FreeWord Poets). Her poetry focuses on ideas of origin, family, mental illness, and the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina, where she grew up. In particular she explores her own experiences with anxiety, depression, and dermatillomania (also known as compulsive skin picking) and how they impact her relationship with the world.

She has had the extraordinary good fortune to work with extraordinary poets and teachers throughout her life, including Alan Michael Parker, Drs. Victoria Redel and Anthony Abbott, and former North Carolina Poet Laureate Cathy Smith Bowers.

Feel free to contact Annalee at

For more information about or to purchase Opening the Doors of the Temple, please visit here.
Annalee’s Opening the Doors of the Temple is the winner of The Pioneer Prize, 2013. Her manuscript was chosen by 2013 Judge Peter LaBerge, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Adroit Journal.