Kathleen M. Quinlan is a budding poet and fiction writer; this is her first published poem. In her creative writing she often uses physical metaphors - particularly those from the natural world - to explore inner, emotional landscapes. Her childhood on a lake in rural Maine inspired a love of nature. Her formal education has focused on understanding learning and human development, with a B.A. in psychology from the University of Maine and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Stanford University. She has held academic or leadership posts at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, at Cornell University and in a small consulting company in Ithaca, New York. Since 2009, she has taught and conducted educational research at the University of Oxford. An established academic, her current research explores student character development in higher education. She is a member of the Back Room Poets in Oxford, England.