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Kellie Wells, Kansas Author, Lawrence, Ks

Kellie Wells

Compression Scars, Book Cover, Kellie Wells

Skin, Book Cover, Kellie Wells

Fat Girl Terrestrial, Book Cover, Kellie Wells







Kellie Wells grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, and graduated from the University of Kansas. She did master's level graduate work at the University of Montana and the University of Pittsburgh , and took her PhD at Western Michigan University.

Wells now teaches at the University of Alabama and in the MFA program of Pacific University. She is on the board of Peanut Books and is a full time member of the advisory board for the Tusculum Review.

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Bibliography ( - housed in Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection)  



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Writing Samples  

Blue Skin

Clancy is watching the Oprah Winfrey show. There is a woman on who insists that the male Y chromosome is directly for war and high interest rates. Her lips quiver as she speaks and she shakes clenched, white-knuckled fists at the ceiling. Her gums are completely visible.

Clancy prefers the straightforward sensationalism and sleaze of the Geraldo Rivera show. He especially likes it when Geraldo gets down on bended knee and squeezes the thigh of the sobbing guest. Yesterday on the show, there was a man whose wife had been slain by a woman driven mad by infertility. Despite modern medical advances, this woman could not have a child of her own, so she stalked a pregnant woman, kidnapped her and her unborn fetus, slit her down the middle like a melon, and stole the baby from her womb. The no-longer-pregnant woman clung to a tree as blood slipped from her. Some man out for a walk saw the dying woman, and he leaned close to her lips so she could tell him this story.

---From Compression Scars


The night our neighbor's house was swallowed by the earth, we were coming home from the circus when it happened. Obie was in a solemn mood. He hated the circus: the trained antics of the unicycling bears, the swayed backs of the horses that shivered beneath the caparisons and and the capering feet of the gymnastic riders; the fat, apple-cheeked ringmaster whose plump buttocks strained the seams of his trousers and lifted his coattails limply in the air, the tigers forced onto small stools and two feet by a whip and a chair and a snarling, ill-tempered, mustachioed man.

It was Obie who had begged our parents to take us to the circus, but he had the wrong idea. He imagined horses flying freely around the tent and aerialists brachiating wildly, swinging like monkeys from limb to limb of the towering tree holding up the big top. He'd thought bears were natural dancers and would invite audience members to waltz to calliope music and that the tigers would administrate, see that everything ran smoothly, take tickets, make popcorn, escort families to their seats. All the screaming children with gaping mouths stuffed with cotton candy and fists fat with peanuts made Obie cross.

---From Fat Girl Terrestrial

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  • Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award (2002)
  • Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writer's Award (2002)
  • Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction (2001)
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