Leslie Smith Townsend is a licensed marriage and family therapist who writes memoir, essays, and poetry in her spare time. She is a graduate of Spalding University’s MFA in Writing.
Townsend is a recipient of a Studio Saturday award from the Indiana Arts Commission (2004), the Betty Gabehart prize from the Kentucky Women’s Writers Conference (2005), a grant from the Kentucky Foundation of Women (2007), and a Vermont Studio Center fellowship (2008). Her personal essays have been published in Louisville Eccentric Observer, New Southerner, The Louisville Review, Arable, and Church and Society.
An excerpt from Townsend’s memoir, Lucky Girl, Guilty Woman, is included in Voices of Alcoholism, an anthology published by The Healing Project (2008). Her poem, “Home,” was published in the Christian Science Monitor (May 2010).
“ Haunted ”
I grew up in the shadow of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath,
my mother’s friends, 3 girls from Wellesley (not the school,
the town) with suicide plans in their hip pockets. After
The Bell Jar, I abandoned the poets, seeking
to make myself sane, no easy business
after cutting, bingeing, purging, and overdoses
but I succeeded, friends of Mother’s be damned,
“I am not a poet,” said in the same breath as,
“I am not crazy.”