Telaina was born and raised in rural Michigan, the youngest of seven children and the daughter of a factory worker. Their house (formerly a one-room schoolhouse) was surrounded by corn or soybeans, depending on the year. She graduated from Michigan State University in 1990 with a degree in journalism and has worked as a waitress, a library assistant, a journalist, doing marketing and public relations for educational software companies, as a freelance writer, and as a full-time mom.
In 2009, she graduated from Antioch University Los Angeles with her MFA in creative writing and worked as a fixed-term assistant professor in the Department of English at Michigan State University for seven years. Her poems and essays have appeared in ARS Medica, The Manifest Station, poemmemoirstory, The Truth About the Fact, The Fem, RoleReboot, The Good Men Project, and many others. Her first book-length work, Unconditional: A Guide to Loving and Supporting Your LGBTQ Child, was published by Mango Publishing in 2017.
*Photo by: Carol Myron