As a child, Anesa Miller resisted schooling and had to be pushed to keep up with her classmates. On a car trip across the Great Plains, her mother threatened that there would be no lunch until Anesa read several pages aloud from A Is for Annabelle. Under pressure, the seven-year-old buckled down, focused on the page, and gained a sudden insight into the link between letters, sound, and meaning. A passion for reading and love of literature were born.
Anesa’s attitude toward education improved rapidly. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles and developed a fascination for the Russian language. She made her first trip to the Soviet Union in 1974, where a hotel maid offered condolences on the resignation of President Richard Nixon. “Such a pity for your country!” The Americans on the study-abroad program explained that his resignation was not such a tragedy.
At the University of Kansas, Anesareceived a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures. She translated scholarly essays, edited books, and taught at universities as well as elementary schools. After the end of the Cold War, when college enrollments in Russian language courses declined, Anesa returned to writing poems and fiction, which she had enjoyed throughout her youth.
Anesa was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship in Creative Writing from the Ohio Arts Council in 1998. Her poems and prose have been published in The Kenyon Review, The Cream City Review, The California Quarterly, Spoon River Poetry Review, and many others. She now devotes herself to writing full-time.
Married to the neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp, Anesa divides her time between northwest Ohio and Moscow, Idaho. The couple have three grown children.