Patricia Waters was born and reared in Nashville, Tennessee, taking her B.A. in English and History at what is now the University of Memphis. After completing several seasons in field archaeology in Europe, she completed her M.A. in English at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Having lived as a teacher, journalist, and community activist in Memphis and New Orleans, she returned to Tennessee, to the upper Cumberland where her mother’s family pioneered, to rear her children, subsequently moving to Athens. A Pew Faculty Grant awarded while she was assistant professor at Tennessee Wesleyan College led her to writers’ conferences and repeatedly to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference where her relations with Howard Nemerov, Anthony Hecht, and Donald Justice were crucial to her development as a poet. She earned a Ph.D. in English at UTK, the poet Arthur Smith becoming a friend and mentor. A year as writer-in-residence at the University of Tennessee Libraries permitted time to gather her first book. She is currently an assistant professor in the English Dept. at Troy University where she oversees the secondary English Language Arts certification program. Her home is in Athens, Tennessee.
She is the author of two books from Anhinga Press: The Ordinary Sublime (2006) and Fallen Attitudes (2014).