Elise Hempel was born in Evanston, Illinois, and grew up in suburban Chicago. She received her BA and MA from Eastern Illinois University, and she has worked as an editor, proofreader, copywriter and university English instructor. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Poetry, Measure, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Evansville Review, and The Midwest Quarterly, as well as in Ted Kooser’s weekly column, American Life in Poetry. She is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award and the winner of the 2015 Able Muse Write Prize in Poetry, and has been a finalist or semifinalist for several book awards. In 2014 her chapbook, Only Child, was published by Finishing Line Press. She lives in central Illinois.
Second Rain was a finalist for the 2015 Able Muse Book Award.