Frances Mayes is an American university professor, poet, memoirist, essayist, and novelist.

Born and raised in Fitzgerald, Georgia, Mayes attended Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and obtained her BA from the University of Florida. In 1975 she earned her MA from San Francisco State University, where she eventually became Professor of Creative Writing, director of The Poetry Center, and chair of the Department of Creative Writing.

Mayes has published several works of poetry: Climbing Aconcagua (1977), Sunday in Another Country (1977), After Such Pleasures (1979), The Arts of Fire (1982), Hours (1984), and Ex Voto (1995). In 1996 she published the book Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy. The book is a memoir of Mayes buying, renovating, and living in an abandoned villa in rural Cortona in Tuscany, a region of Italy. It went to Number One on the New York Times Best Seller list and remained on the list for over two years. In 2003 the film Under the Tuscan Sun was released. Adapted to the screen by director Audrey Wells, the movie was loosely based on Mayes's book. In 1999, Mayes followed this literary success with another international bestseller, Bella Tuscany: The Sweet Life in Italy, and in 2000 with In Tuscany. Mayes's first novel, Swan, was published in 2002. With photographer Steven Rothfeld and her husband Edward Kleinschmidt Mayes, she published the phototext Bringing Tuscany Home in 2004.

Also a food-and-travel writer, Mayes is the editor of The Best American Travel Writing 2002 and the author of A Year in the World: Journeys of A Passionate Traveller (2006), narratives of her and her husband's travels in Greece, Turkey, Spain, Morocco and other countries.

Now writing full time, she and her poet husband divide their time between homes in Hillsborough, North Carolina and Cortona, Italy, where she serves as the artist director of the annual Tuscan Sun Festival. A new memoir "Every Day in Tuscany" was released in March, 2010.

Frances Mayes's Works:

Climbing Aconcagua (1977)
Sunday in Another Country (1977)
After Such Pleasures (1979)
The Arts of Fire (1982)
Hours (1984)
Ex Voto (1995)
Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy (1996)
Bella Tuscany: The Sweet Life in Italy (1999)
In Tuscany (2000)
Swan (2002)
Bringing Tuscany Home (2004)
A Year in the World: Journeys of A Passionate Traveller (2006)
Every Day in Tuscany (2010)

Poems by Frances Mayes

Poet of the day

Isaac Rosenberg was an English poet of the First World War who was considered to be one of the greatest of all English war poets. His "Poems from the Trenches" are recognised as some of the most outstanding written during the First World War.

Isaac Rosenberg was born to Barnet...
Read more...

Poem of the day


Who will away to Athens with me? Who
Loves choral songs and maidens crown'd with flowers,
Unenvious? mount the pinnace; hoist the sail.
I promise ye, as many as are here,
Ye shall not, while ye tarry with me, taste
From unrinsed barrel the diluted...
Read more...