Dorothy Allison grew up in Greenville, South Carolina. She is the author of a collection of poems, The Women Who Hate Me (1983), a story collection, Trash (1988), the novels Bastard Out of Carolina (1992) and Cavedweller (1998), and two essay collections. Bastard Out of Carolina was a finalist for the National Book Award and was adapted into a film in 2003. Awarded the 2007 Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction, Allison is a member of the board of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Now living in Northern California, she describes herself as a feminist, a working class story teller, a Southern expatriate, a sometime poet and a happily born-again Californian. This is her second appearance at the Southern Women Writers Conference.