Carter Sickels is the author of the novel The Prettiest Star (Hub City Press), winner of the 2021 Southern Book Prize and the Weatherford Award, and selected as a Kirkus Best Book of 2020 and a Best LGBT Book of 2020 by O Magazine. His debut novel The Evening Hour (Bloomsbury) was a 2013 Oregon Book Award finalist and a Lambda Literary Award finalist. His writing appears in various publications, including The Atlantic, Oxford American, Poets & Writers, BuzzFeed, Guernica, Joyland, and Catapult. Carter has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He is an assistant professor at Eastern Kentucky University.
That first morning in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the summer of 2008, I opened the sliding screen door and stepped into my new backyard, my body buzzing with a combination of relief and uncertainty.