Martha Johnson Bourlakas grew up hiking the Appalachian Trail (an excuse to eat trail mix M&Ms for breakfast) with her Dad and is grateful for the long path that brought her back to the mountainous turf of Southwestern Virginia.
She received her M.Ed. at Vanderbilt and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Spalding University and has taught middle school, high school, Chicago Traffic Safety School, at the Knoxville Police Department and at Virginia Western Community College. Her book, Love Feast: Together at the Table, is a collection of essays on the intersection of disability, faith and hospitality.
She loves the holy chaos of mothering, writing, teaching, baking and being married to an Episcopal bishop who travels. She reads nonfiction and the Maisie Dobbs mystery series when she is supposed to be writing, grading papers or mothering. The family’s dachshund mix, Sammy, is her constant writing companion.
Martha’s favorite food is yellow cake with chocolate icing. She bakes cakes, eats them and starts all over again. Her ideal retreat—which she will one day take—is solitary reading and writing in a Laura Ingalls Wilder-style mountain cabin with a fireplace. She will wear blue jeans and a sweatshirt and drink coffee all day.