Eileen R. Kinch was born in York County, Pennsylvania and moved to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania when she was eight. She graduated from Lancaster Mennonite High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Chatham College in Pittsburgh and a Master of Divinity degree from Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana.
Her chapbook, Gathering the Silence, was released in 2013 from Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in Topology, Calyx, Fledgling Rag, and other journals and anthologies. Her poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her essays have appeared in journals and anthologies, including the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets timeline, Center for Mennonite Writing Journal, and CrossCurrents.
She lives and writes in Lancaster County, where she continues to ponder Conservative Friends (Quaker) meeting, seasons and seasonal cycles, food preparation, and the Susquehanna River.
Read one of her poems here.
On Gathering the Silence (2013, Finishing Line Press; available here)
"This beautiful debut collection claims a space for silence by way of utterance: testimony so strong it sears the speaker’s lips, lifts in song, or finally falls to a hush. Kinch enacts the old association between poetry and the furrowed field preserved in the etymology of “verse”: vertere. Her lines turn as the plowman turns the row. “Fields” articulates her personal and elegant ars poetica: The rows are straight, yet curving with/the contours of the land--/ a part in a woman’s hair--/a quiet, well-ordered life."—Julia Spicher Kasdorf, author of Poetry in America
"W.H. Auden once wrote that a poet’s hope is to be, like some valley cheese, local, but prized elsewhere. This is surely the case with Eileen Kinch, as her poems ground us in the particulars of her world and simultaneously gesture towards the reader’s world, as well." —Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, author of Lovers’ Almanac
“Kinch’s poems are infused with a Quaker sensibility and leave one with a feeling similar to the feeling at the end of an excellent Quaker meeting for worship.”—Michael S. Glaser, poet laureate of Maryland, 2004-2009
Read more reviews from Friends Journal, The Triangle, and Shirley Showalter.