Joshua R. Franklin was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. As a child, his family moved multiple times, to Missouri for a few years, and eventually returned to Michigan–Central Michigan. It is the people and the places of Central Michigan that most influence Franklin’s work. It is easy to see the joy and longing for these characters and places that appear in his fiction as well as the sharp stings that follow growing up and graining wisdom.

Franklin’s adult life has mirrored his early nomadic travels with his family. He lived in Galesburg, Illinois (2004) while earning a bachelor’s degree at President Lincoln’s favorite, Knox College. Franklin returned to Central Michigan (2007) for a brief time to work on a Master’s degree at Central Michigan University before moving to Oklahoma City (2010) and Cincinnati (2012). He completed his Master of Fine Arts at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky (2013).