Kali White (VanBaale) was born and raised on a dairy farm in rural southern Iowa.

A writer for nearly 20 years, her debut novel, The Space Between (as Kali VanBaale), earned an American Book Award, the Independent Publisher’s silver medal for general fiction, and the Fred Bonnie Memorial First Novel Award, and was re-released as a digital eBook by Midwestern Gothic Press in June 2018. Her second novel, The Good Divide (as Kali VanBaale), was awarded the Eric Hoffer Book Award for General Fiction and shortlisted for the Eric Hoffer Grand Prize, and was an Indie Book Award finalist. Her third novel, The Monsters We Make (as Kali White), releases June 2020. She is also the recipient of a State of Iowa Arts Council major artist grant and the Great River Writer’s Retreat.

Her short stories, essays, and articles have appeared in The Coachella Review, The Chaffey Review, Midwestern Gothic, Numéro Cinq, Nowhere Magazine, The Milo Review, Northwind Literary, The Writer's Chronicle, Poets & Writers, The Writer, The Des Moines Register and the anthologies Voices of Alzheimer's and A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families. She serves as the assistant editor of the micro-essay journal The Past Ten, and is being developed into a print anthology.

Kali holds an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She's a core faculty member in the Lindenwood University MFA in Writing Program and regularly teaches writing workshops at various conferences and festivals, such as the Iowa Summer Writing Festival at the University of Iowa, and the David R. Collins' Writers' Conference. She previously taught creative writing and literature at Drake University and Upper Iowa University. In addition to writing and teaching, Kali is an advocate for mental healthcare awareness and reform through writing, speaking, and lobbying, and serves as a volunteer prison writing mentor and reader for the PEN America Prison & Justice Writing Program.

In previous professional lives, Kali was a county case manager for mentally disabled adults and children, a substitute librarian, a gymnastics instructor, a childcare provider, a waitress, a jewelry counter attendant at Target, and spent one winter working on a Christmas tree farm, and one summer detasseling cornfields. She also lived in a remote Hungarian village for several weeks after college while volunteering on an organic vegetable farm. 

Today, she lives and writes on a quiet acreage outside Des Moines with her family and highly emotional dog, Olive.

Photos by

Robert Delsol

The Monsters We Make Cover_edited.jpg

Coming June 2020

Now available for pre-order

Indie Bound


Barnes & Noble


2019 Kali White VanBaale