Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, a writer, teacher, and facilitator who explores how the spoken, written and sung word can help us live more vibrant lives. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches, Caryn is the author or editor of over 20 books of poetry, fiction, memoir, non-fiction, and anthologies. A registered songwriter with BMI, her poetry and prose has been published in dozens of literary journals and anthologies. Caryn’s long-time callings include writing as a spiritual and ecological path, yoga, cultivating a loving family and community, and helping herself and others make and take leaps into the miraculous work of their lives
Give Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg a few key words plucked from the audience, and she can create and read out a new poem in moments. She’s a jazz bop artist of the word. And her Transformative Language Arts program [at Goddard College] is just what the doctor ordered for a mad, mad world. ~ Kevin Rabas, 2017-19 Kansas Poet Laureate
As a beloved workshop facilitator, she has led workshops since 1992 for adults in transition, people living with serious illness, intergenerational groups, ecological groups, teens, and multi-cultural communities. She offers writing and singing retreats and performances with singer-songwriter Kelley Hunt through their business, Brave Voice. She also offers writing and right livelihood coaching, and with Laura Packer, will be teaching the Transformative Language Art Network's Right Livelihood Professional Training in 2019.
Caryn was born in Brooklyn, NY, and grew up there as well as in Manalapan, NJ until she headed west to study journalism at the University of Missouri, where she got a labor history degree instead. She continued west on I-70 to Kansas City, then Lawrence, Kansas, where she fell in love with the land and community. Caryn received her Ph.D. and MA from the University of Kansas (poetry, women's studies, mythology), and she is trained in grassroots organizing from the Midwest Academy, poetry therapy from the National Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy, group process and facilitation through the bioregional movement, and in teaching yoga and Curvy Yoga. She is the recipient of Kansas Arts Fellowship in Poetry, the Rocky Mountain National Park artist-in-residency, the City of Lawrence Phoenix Award, and other honors.
Caryn lives in the country, just south of Lawrence, Kansas with her husband, bioregional writer Ken Lassman, Shay the dog, two intrepid cats, and young adult children who visit to the delight of all the humans and animals.
Caryn in the News
Caryn’s publications and workshops have been featured in the Boston Herald, Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Kansas City Star, Washington Post, Paris Herald, Syracuse Herald-Journal, Writers Weekly, Scholastic, Seventeen, The Jewish Chronicle, and strangely enough, Cosmo Girl. You can see her profiled on the Map of Kansas Literature, Goddard College, Brave Voice, and Kansas Poets.
Interviews, Features & Reviews (partial list):
- Five Ways Writing Can Make You Braver and Happier by Harriet Lerner in Psychology Today
- Can Writing Save Your Life?” by Mark Matousek in the Saturday Evening Post.
- Eliza Gale's Interviews
- New Letters on the Air -- Kansas Area Watershed Five Poets Laureate reading
- Museum of Americana Interview with Three Kansas Poets Laureate
- A Conversation with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Mark Matousek
- Voice of Beauty: Interview with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg in Psychology Today
- HealthCetera Interview: Stepping into the Clearing: An Interview with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
- Kansas Poet Laureate Shoots for the Stars Through Difficulties on Pittsburg, KS public radio
- Wrangling 150 Poets in One Poem on KCUR radio
- From Poetry to History on KCUR radio
- A Storied Career: Q&A with a Story Guru: Storytelling as Part of Holistic Study of Transformative Language Arts
- Cassie Premo Steele’s Poetry Show
- Memory Writers Network interview with Jerry Wexler
- Online Chat with the New Poet Laureate
- Museum of Americana: Interview with Three Kansas Poets Laureate
- 435: Cadences
- Workshops and Reading in Mexico
- Poet Unlocks Healing Power of Verse
- Word Power
Selected Venues and Communities
Organizations: Turning Point: The Center for Hope and Healing, Kansas City, MO.; Institute of Culture of Moreles, Cuernavaca, Mexico; The Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis, MN.; HueHue Coyotl Ecovillage, Moreles, Mexico; YWCA, Princeton, N.J.; The Writers Place, Kansas City, MO.; Sky Island Alliance, Tucson, AZ.; The Guadalupe Center, Kansas City, MO.; The Kansas Intergeneration Network, Ottawa, KS.; Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority, Lawrence, KS.; The Farm, Summertown, TN.; Waterville Opera House, Waterville, KS.; Kansas Area Watershed Council Annual Gatherings throughout Kansas; The Light Center, Baldwin, KS.; Earthaven Ecovillage, Camp Elliott, N.C.; Kansas Historical Museum, Topeka, KS.
Colleges: State University of New York at Potsdam; Truman State University, MO.; Osher Institute, University of Kansas; Goddard College, VT.; Pittsburg State University, KS.; Johnson County Community College, KS.; Emporia State University, KS.; Brookdale Community College, N.J.; Garden City Community College, KS.; Hutchinson Community College, KS.; Lebanon Community College, N.H.; Haskell Indian Nations University, KS.; Bethel College, Newton, KS.; Naugatuck Valley Community College, CT.; University of Kansas, KS.
Medical Centers: Walter Reed Military Medical Center, MD.;; The Menninger’s Foundation, KS.; University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, IA.; Stormont-Vail Medical Center, KS.; St. Joseph Hospital, Kansas City; Lawrence Memorial Hospital, KS; University of Kansas Medical Center, KS.
Conferences: National Storytelling Network conference, Associated Writing Programs (AWP) conference, Poet Laureati: A Convergence of State Poets Laureate, Continental Bioregional Congress, National Association for Poetry Therapy Conferences, The Examined Life: Writing & the Art of Medicine, National Association of Drama Therapy, The Power of Words Conference, Poetry and Politics.
Other Venues: Libraries throughout the Midwest; school systems throughout Kansas and Missouri; bookstores across the country
Subscribe to The Writing Life Newsletter
Receive a pithy newsletter each month with a writing prompt, featured writer, and news of upcoming workshops, readings, and happenings. Click here.