my bio


I serve on the Board of the National Book Critics Circle and am the Book Review Editor for Orion magazine, Contributing Editor at,  and teach nonfiction in The Master of Arts program in Writing and Oral Traditions at the Graduate Institute in Bethany, CT. My forthcoming book, MILL TOWN: Reckoning with What Remains is about how we define our landscapes and how they define us. Coming September 2, 2020 from St. Martin’s Press.

I received my MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and previously studied in the Master Programme in Communication for Development, Malmö University, Sweden, an interdisciplinary program analyzing the interplay between politics, media, information and communication technology, international development, diversity, conflict resolution, and theories of social change within the context of globalization. I have a B.A. in Creative writing and English literature from Beloit College, Wisconsin.

I am enormously grateful for the writing residencies that have supported me and my work:  Litteraturhuset in Oslo, Norway and 100West Corsicana, (Texas); and Breadloaf, Middlebury, Vermont.

Member: PEN America, Maine Writers & Publishers Association

I am represented by the incomparable, super likable, hard-working Sarah Burnes from The Gernert Company.

You can contact me at kerri.arsenault at or find me on Twitter or Facebook



9 thoughts on “my bio

  1. Darrelyn always steers me right. You are a beautiful writer, somebody who I can only try to aspire to emulate.

    I just subscribed to your beautiful site.

    Thank you for providing such great inspiration.


  2. Hello cousin Kerri: I believe we have a shared genealogy. My grandfather John Patrick Peters (called “Pat”) and your grandfather Max were brothers. We would be 2nd cousins. I have a yahoo email address for you, and will send a message to it (hopefully it still works). Would enjoy chatting with you about our shared family.


  3. Hello Kerri,
    Just read your article Growing Up in Maine’s Cancer Valley. I grew up in Rumford and graduated in 1980. Your article was well done. It brought back memories and hopes good and bad. It must be difficult to relate a personal story about things you care for when you suspect the outcome will be bleak. Thanks for telling our story, showing humanity and good in a resource town is tricky. I’ll be looking for more of your craft.
    Cheers, Dave


  4. Hi Kerri: Rich, my brother, steered me to your chapter on the paper mill. A familiar family story as our dad worked there, too. Called it “a stinking hell hole. I like your work. It took me right back home. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Kerri. What is the best way to order your forthcoming book so that you actually get some of the profit? PS) Will it be available in April when you visit UMaine? Hint: signed copy. PS) It’s a small world…my guess is that the above entry from Dave must be from David Hopkins—who graduated with me in 1980 from Rumford High School.


    1. Hey Steve! You can preorder from almost any bookstore as well as online at Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes& Noble, etc. I’ll be heading up north once my book is out (9/1) so let’s get together then!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s