George Ella Lyon was born on April 25, 1949, in Harlan, Kentucky. She is an author who has published in many genre, including picture books, poetry, juvenile novels and articles. Her books often take place in Appalachia. She earned her B.A. at Centre College in Kentucky in 1971, her M.A. at the University of Arkansas in 1972 and her PhD at Indiana University - Bloomington in 1978.
She first published in 1983, a poetry collection called Mountain. Aside from publishing, she also taught writing at a number of colleges, including the University of Kentucky, Centre College, Transylvania University, and Radford University. She has also acted as an executive committee member for the Women Writers Conference. She has also taught writing through workshops, conferences, and author visits.
Her titles include Father Time and the Day Boxes, Sonny's House of Spies, Holding on to Zoe, All the Water in the World, With a Hammer for My Heart, and Where I'm From: Where Poems Come From. In 2014 her title Voices from the March on Washington made the Hot Civil Rights Titles List.