Culley Holderfield learned to love story on the front porch of a cabin in a forested Appalachian cove, clinging to tales (true and perhaps otherwise) spun by his grandmother and others of her generation. Later, on long family trips, he was entertained by the Jack Tales told by Jackie Torrance on a well-worn cassette tape. At thirteen he began to write his own stories, and he hasn’t stopped since.
He has worked as a trail guide, a group home parent, freelance writer, and farm worker, though for the past 20 years he has helped low-income families build wealth and opportunity at Self-Help Credit Union in Durham, NC. While his travels have taken him across four continents, he has always called North Carolina home. At UNC-Chapel Hill, he studied creative writing with Doris Betts and graduated with a BA in comparative literature and history. His writing often touches on the power of place in the context of displacement, how we are shaped and haunted by the land and people we come from. His short stories, essays, and poetry have appeared in a variety of publications, including WildfireMagazine, Literally Stories,Yellow Mama, 2Leaf Press, Scarlet Leaf, Kakalak 2016 and 2020, Dime Show Review, and Floyd County Moonshine.
Hemlock Hollow (Regal House 2022), an Appalachian family mystery, is his debut novel.