Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, is a poet, writer, and founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College who writes poetry, fiction, memoirs, and songs. She offers workshops and writing coaching, and roams the prairies as a visiting scholar. She's pictured here with her administrative assistant, Shay.

Please follow and like Caryn

Connect with Caryn

Read Caryn's Words in Everyday Magic, her blog, essays and interviews, and books of poetry, fiction, memoir, and anthologies.

Coach with Caryn: Caryn offers coaching on writing, the writing life, and right livelihood, and finishing your book.

Create Your Own Right Livelihood Through the Arts

Check out the Transformative Language Arts Network's Right Livelihood Professional Training with Laura Packer and Caryn, July - Oct., 2019.

Write With Caryn: Attend a workshop, online class, or "A Leap Forward Workshop."

Come to an Event: Come to a talk or reading around and beyond the Midwest, including Osher Institute and Humanities Kansas events.

Bring Caryn to Your Community: Have Caryn present a workshop, talk, reading, or collaborative event in your community.

Find Your Brave Voice: Join Kelley Hunt and Caryn for Brave Voice: Writing & Singing for Your Life retreats.

Catch Caryn's Newsletter: Read The Writing Life for a monthly writing prompt, and news.

Driving Home the Full Moon: Everyday Magic, Day 969

There I was, looking for the rising moon and wondering why it hadn’t yet shown itself. Maybe it was  too early for moonrise or prairie fires just to the north of Hwy. 35, which I was driving from Emporia to Lawrence, were hiding the ceiling of the sky. So I kept driving and looking, hoping for the moon to catch up with me.

I was also simultaneously tired and exhilarated, in part because of the moon the night before keeping me up despite my “go-back-to-sleep-you-have-a-big-day-tomorrow” self-talk attempts. Even with the curtains of our bedroom closed, I could feel that big moon energy, making me want to get up and fry an omelette or read a book, but certainly not sleep.

It was the tail end of that big day — one that brought me meaning and joy, starting with visiting a wonderful poetry writing class at Emporia State University, where we talked about what real work was calling us and what truest words were singing through our writing. I had my first-ever professional studio photo shoot with the wonderful Dave Leiker, who brought me a surprising sense of peace while placing me in the middle of clamshell lighting. I ate gyros with one of my publisher-friends at the local brewery, then guzzled a whole lot of iced tea in the Granada Coffeehouse while revising a grant. I also got to talk deeply over Mexican food about land and literature with the current Kansas Poet Laureate, Kevin Rabas, who teaches at Emporia State, the wonderful creative writing chair, Amy Sage Webb, and a lovely young poet, Linzi Garcia, before giving a reading from Miriam’s Well.

Now I was driving 77 miles home, coming over a ridge to find a prairie fire dancing a line shaped like a question mark to my north, and then another kind of fire: the full moon, half-risen, raging orange, enormous on the eastern horizon.

The rest of the drive the moon rose fuller, slowly getting smaller as it got higher, turning from fire-orange to sherbet to peach to butterscotch to manila. I turned up my CD player, singing along with the whole score of “Godspell,” then rocking out to Kansas’s “Carry On, My Wayward Son” until, so appropriately, Sarah Vaughn’s “Moon River” aligned the moon, the music, the highway, and me.

Driving into the rising moon on an early spring night is a lot like standing outside on the first warm enough day when a sweet breeze blows through our beings and happily clears all the debris of winter and other life challenges, sadnesses, and heartbreaks. The more I drove with my good friend the moon lighting the way, the more I came home to how much I love this world.

Blown Away: Everyday Magic, Day 968

The week began with news that blew me away: a beloved colleague, who was the rock and heart of the college where I work, died suddenly. Then the wind picked up to the tune of 50-plus mph gusts that shook the house around my shaken heart. The wind, part of a weather system called a bombogenesis, was so strong that I had to postpone a classroom visiting and reading in Hutchinson, Kansas, 200 miles from here, because it was too risky to drive without being blown off the road or into oncoming traffic. The grief my college community feels is [...] Read More

A Lightening Up: Everyday Magic, Day 967

Tiny crocus from the backyard in a tiny vase Daylight Savings Time, beside being a kick that keeps kicking our sleeping patterns for a while, heralds a kind of lightening up, particularly if, like me, you're not an early riser. For those of us sleep-until-it's-been-light-for-awhile slackers, the time shift surprises us with more light at the end of the day, but I also experience this time of the year as a weight off my shoulders. Winter, which took up big-living residence in the house of time this year, is showing signs of packing some of her [...] Read More

What’s Right Livelihood Got To Do With It?: Everyday Magic, Day 966

I've been passionate about how the way we make livings speaks, argues with, or sings loud and proud through our lives. My first degree was in labor history because of how I was innately drawn to the often messy dilemma of work and life, and no surprise that over the years, I've returned to this question, especially when, decades ago, I stumbled across the Buddhist term "Right Livelihood." I just wrote a piece on this along with callings and some ways to follow the work we love into fruition, published this morning on Medium -- "Six Ways to Find the [...] Read More

Getting Through February (the Longest Month): Everyday Magic, Day 965

A moment yesterday (big round thing is rain barrel we're repairing). Note approaching deer. As life has repeatedly, February is the longest month. Maybe it's the overwrought repetition of cold, ice, and snow after months of winter. Maybe it's the shy hints of spring to come -- often snow drops before they get snowed under, or days like Thursday, when Harriet and I walked unfettered by heavy coats andg ear in 55 degrees -- before the heavy hand of the winter storm warmings land again. Maybe it's more personal because this is the month when my [...] Read More

Upcoming Events

March 29, 2019 - 8:00pm
Temple Sha'arey Shalom, 78 South Springfield Ave
Springfield, N.J.
April 13, 2019 - 10:00am
Private home near Lawrence, KS (directions will be sent to you)
Lawrence, KS
April 16, 2019 - 2:00pm
Eudora Senior Center, 706 Main St
Eudora, KS
April 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
Justice Theater, Shears Technology Center,
Hutchinson, Kansas
May 4, 2019 - 10:00am
Private home near Lawrence, KS (directions will be sent to you)
Lawrence, KS
May 19, 2019 -
May 24, 2019
White Memorial Camp
Council Grove, Kansas
May 2, 2019 - 6:30pm
Meadowlark Hills, 2121 Meadowlark Dr.
Manhattan, KS
More Events

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,970 other subscribers