Photo by Stephen Locke

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 meaningful and 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. She blogs at this site and at Huffington Post. 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. With her husband, Ken Lassman, Caryn presents trainings and facilitates meetings for community groups, cooperatives, and businesses. 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 2018.

Just another prairie burning

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 studied labor 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 LiteratureGoddard CollegeBrave Voice, and Kansas Poets.

Interviews, Features & Reviews (partial list):

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 VenuesLibraries throughout the Midwest; school systems throughout Kansas and Missouri; bookstores across the country

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Upcoming Events

March 21, 2018 -
March 2, 2018
Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library 1515 SW 10th Ave
Topeka, Kansas
April 28, 2018 - 4:00pm
Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St.
Lawrence, Kansas
April 28, 2018 - 7:30pm
Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation, 917 Highland Ave.
Lawrence, Kansas
May 6, 2018 -
May 12, 2018
White Memorial Camp
Council Grove, KS
May 19, 2018 - 11:00am
Turning Point: The Center for Hope & Healing, 8900 State Line Rd.
Leawood, Kansas
March 24, 2018 - 1:00pm
Ellen Plumb Book Store, 1122 Commercial Street
Emporia, Kansas
March 25, 2018 -
March 2, 2018
Cowley County Historical Society 1011 Mansfield St
Winfield, Kansas
April 8, 2018 - 2:00pm
Volland Store, 24098 Volland Rd
Alma, Kansas
June 2, 2018 - 2:00pm
The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Ave
Kansas City, MO