Essays, Poems & Songs

Kelley Hunt and Caryn after one of their songwriting adventures

Check Out Engaging Essays, Poems, Podcasts & Videos

Featured Essays: 

Featured Poems:

Featured Songs, Podcasts & Videos:


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

Teaching Transformation

Teaching Transformation

Teaching Transformation: Progressive Education in Action is edited by Lise Weil and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg with an introduction by Elizabeth K. Minnich. This book, published by the Goddard Graduate Institute (GGI), is a collaborative project between GGI faculty, students, and alumni. We are grateful to Goddard College’s Fund for Experiments and New Initiatives for supporting this project.

Buy a signed copy from Caryn. Or for your free download, please click here. Also available at through this link and  Amazon here.

Here’s an interview on “The Magical Mystery Tour” with several contributors to the book — Lise Weil, Sarah Van Hoy, Katt Lissard, Lori Wynters, and Karen Campbell — on WDGR.

Please scroll down to peruse our contents and contributors.


  • Time to Tell Our Story: Preface by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
  • Introduction: The Moral, Political Action of Education by Elizabeth K. Minnich
  • Vision from the Ground by Sarah Bobrow-Williams
  • Leading and Following: A Perspective on Teaching and Learning by Ruth Farmer
  • The Virtual and Place-Based Culture of the Goddard Graduate Institute by Karen Campbell
  • Rigor, the Ridiculous, and Radical Resonance: Transitory Community and the Construction of History by Katt Lissard
  • What Happens at a Goddard Residency (and Why Is It So Hard to Explain)? by Lori Wynters
  • A Kitchen Table Discussion on Transformative Language Arts with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Minna Dubin, Deb Hensley, Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams, Kao Kue, Joanna Tebbs Young, and Angie River
  • Embodiment Studies: “Academia as a School of Life” by Lise Weil, Juliana Borrero, Emilee Baum Trucks, Katie Soule, Sonja Swift, Kate Lidfors Miller, and Britta Love
  • Homecoming and Prayer: “Not To Be Cut Off” by Susan Pearson, Linda Schneck, and Bernadette Miller
  • “Goddard is a Place for People Willing to Bet on Themselves”: Graduates Steve Wright, Kris Hege, Karl Stenske, Mike Alvarez, Nicolette Stosur-Bassett, David White, Justin Kagan, and Larry Greer
  • Undiagnosed Visionaries by Sarah Van Hoy

Teaching Transformation also includes an appendix of Graduating Student Presentations, and resources.

Reviews & Excerpts

Teaching Transformation: Progressive Education in Action shares vibrant stories of how students in the Goddard Graduate Institute's Individualized MA, Social Innovation and Sustainability, and Health Arts and Sciences programs find and enact their vision, make and keep community, and foster enduring social change and ecological stewardship.

It comes to me again that knowing, feeling, thinking are intrinsically moral, and political: they concern how we relate, or fail to. This is also why acting and making, during which we are more used to being attentive to social and material possibilities and effects, can be invaluable in learning. ~ Elizabeth K. Minnich, Introduction to Teaching Transformation

We don’t offer a packaged curriculum where someone else has decided what constitutes knowledge, has organized that knowledge, has weeded out what they deem unimportant, and has emphasized what makes most sense to them. Our students don’t sit in classes and receive ideas. They don’t reproduce what already exists. Instead, Goddard students participate in shaping knowledge; they enter the collective conversation and move it in new directions. They are not satisfied with given meanings and comfortable practices. They are co-creating something that doesn’t always fit those givens. They are deciding what is important to them. Like the thawing of springtime, Goddard students take what has been frozen in place and they melt it and rework it, and in so doing they rebirth the world in their vision - their vision of justice, their vision of love, their vision of wellbeing and wholeness. ~ Sarah Van Hoy, “Undiagnosed Visionaries”

Teaching Transformation, crafted by visionaries dedicated to the preservation and reconceptualization of progressive, experimental education, provides us with the blueprints for teaching at the edges of what is known, and points the way toward an embodied, enchanted interdisciplinarity. ~ Kathleen Kesson, Professor of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership at LIU-Brooklyn

Discover, through writing by students, faculty, and alumni, how Goddard College transforms learning and provides students the tools they need most in dealing with all the complex issues facing their communities. ~ Sebastian Marino, delegate, Palau National Congress; Goddard Graduate

"Goddard changed my life" is a popular phrase at graduations. Teaching Transformation is a gold mine of ideas written by those on the front-lines of progressive educational about ethical, moral and political nature of education; the culture conditioning on learning; the need for "seeing the world through new eyes"; and developing capacities of awareness, receptivity, deep listening, and response. ~ Richard Schramm, former faculty at Goddard, Columbia, Cornell, Tufts, and MIT.

Following the Curve

Spartan Press, 2017. $12.  Signed copies available through the author here. In Lawrence, pick up your copy at The Raven Bookstore, or Signs of Life, and at the Yoga Center of Lawrence, all in downtown Lawrence; available on Amazon.

“All spiritual journeys have a destination of which the traveler is unaware," Martin Buber writes, and in this collection of embodied poetry, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg journeys into the cusp of art and soul to explore what it is to be a body across life changes and ages. The poems here speak to poetry in motion as well as breathing into the deeper experience of yoga and embodiment. Whether you practice yoga or not, these poems can expand your perspective of living in and being a body in motion and stillness, youth and age, alone and with others.

Excerpt: I Love This Body That's Not the Way I Thought

like I love lightning, and especially its aftermath:

a horizon balancing blue sky, dying thunderheads,

faint stars, open space—the whole world stretching

its arms two directions at once, just as I do,

shaking myself steady, remembering how this body loves

miles of sidewalk diminishing into a faint path

made by deer with genius for merging the visible.

I love the walk out of what I thought even if

my feet hurt, I'm scared by the blank stare of the sun,

or I've surrendered to how the subway sways its chant

along my spine as it cups this body in its seat.

I love the flash of yearning that turns this body

toward the dark or bright branches of sex or dreams,

all this weather informs these limbs and muscles

in the seasons that come and go, or that came and went:

the mechanisms of cell-building, the three children

from that flint-on-flint spark, the years before

walking sunsets out of housing developments,

and earlier, the fast slim legs that galloped me

down long apartment hallways as the girl

who knew how to tell herself to stay curious,

just as the woman who woke from the old pain,

and put on her walking shoes to head out into billions

of atoms shifting into fire or flower at every turn.

Table of Contents

Following the Curve

Hold to the Center

The Women Learn the Invocation to Patanjali

Getting Started


Child's Pose (Balasana)

Am I My Feet?

Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

The Yoga of Illness

I Love This Body That's Not the Way I Thought

Mountain (Tadasana)

In the Middle of the Yoga Studio

The Dead Poets' Yoga Class

Sun Salutation (Suyra Namaskar)

The Yoga of Memory

Finding the Fire (Tapas)

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Body of Time

Triangle (Trikonasana)

The Yoga of Injustice, Betrayal, and Anxiety

Self-Study (Svadhyaya)

Tree (Vrksasana)

The Yoga of Trees

Balancing on the Equinox

Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)

What the Ocean Can Know of a Body

Find Your Seat (Uktakasana)

The Yoga of Old Wounds

Devotion (Ishvara-Pranidhara)

Prayer Twist (Namaskar Parsvakonasana)

Let the Body Speak

The Dharma of the Arms

Forearm Plank (Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Pigeon (Kapotasana)

Headstand (Sirsasana)

Why I Do Yoga on the Tenth Anniversary of My Father's Death

I Sing to My Bones

The Yoga of Forgiveness

Yoga Class Overlooking Four Oxen, Three Cars, Two Pick-Up Trucks, and One Blue Heron

What's Pure (Saucha)

The Yoga of Sex

The Holy

Corpse Pose (Savasana) at the End of Yoga Class

Contentment (Santosh)

Your Body is a Conversation With the World

Chasing Weather


Chasing Weather: Tornadoes, Tempests, and Thunderous Skies in Word & Image

by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg & Stephen Locke

Winner, Kansas Notable Book Midwest Booksellers Assn. Best Pick

Buy your copy from Caryn, delivered or shipped to you for free. Also available in Lawrence, Kansas at the Raven Bookstore, and Signs of Life, and at the Merc. Also at Ice Cube Press, and on Amazon.

Our Story: We love weather. As a girl, it was love at first storm for Caryn, who grew up in the east. When she landed in Kansas, shUntitlede was hooked for life. Stephen, who grew up in Boulder, Colorado, was captivated by the afternoon thunderstorms from the mountains, especially the cloud-to-ground lightning. We met on Facebook when Stephen asked Caryn the very question she was about to ask him: do we want to create a book together of poetry and photography? For the last four years, we've been creating a whole body of new work in word and image of thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail storms, panoramic lightning, sunset and midnight storms, and spectacular supercells. Weather subtly shapes our days, infuses our moods and interactions, and at times, completely re-orients our lives. Catching moments of stunning beauty and surprising shifts in the sky helps make the vibrant and variable world more visible to us, and shows us how to truly see where and who we are.

Words of Praise for Chasing Weather:

August 17, 2009: The Watonga supercell, rotating wall cloud/updraft base, cloud to ground lighting, Oklahoma

“This ravishing call and response between a fearlessly roving artist-with-a-camera (Locke) and a lyric laureate of the heart’s workings under Kansas heavens (Mirriam-Goldberg) is both glorious and intimate. Wonderfully illustrating the dynamism and vastness of prairie skies and prairie soul, Chasing Weather is a volume to treasure in these stormy times.” ~ Stephanie Mills, author, Tough Little Beauties and Epicurean Simplicity

“The photographs are tempest wars, but a war of flowers and silence and color and God’s calling his/her poems out over the land. And the poems are silver threads that weave through the darkening sky and gates and light unspooling from the heart’s loom a dream of joy and ancestral echoes.” ~ Jimmy Santiago stephen_locke_MG_0355Baca, author, A Glass Of Water and Singing At The Gates and founder, Cedar Tree, Inc.

“What a beautiful book, a gorgeous pairing of photos and poetry! These images are at once alluring and startling, awe-inspiring and terrifying—the joining of heaven and earth. Chasing Weather unlocks the power of nature on the Great Plains—the ever changing, fascinating drama of the sky.” ~ Mary Swander, Poet Laureate of Iowa, author, Farmscape: The Changing Rural Environment

“When the poems in this book, billowing among images that take my breath, say ‘the sky is made of rivers before and after they become rivers,’ and ‘the sycamore buds into tomorrow,’ savoring ‘the threat to come and the yearning to plant,’ I am swept away like a leaf before the storm. I pity people who don’t know a sky like this, who don’t have these words of electric insight, spoken true, blessing the open country at the mercy of the storm.”~ Kim Stafford, editor, Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems by William Stafford

“Being a native Kansan, I thought I had a clear image of what stormy, tornado-ridden skies looked and felt like, but after seeing Stephen Locke’s astonishing, almost surreal photographs, I realize how much I had missed. Coupled with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s lyrical, other-worldly poetry, the photographs come to life and suddenly I can see my beloved Heartland in a whole new way.”~ Kelley Hunt, singer/songwriter, The Beautiful Bones

“Mother Nature’s ever-changing mood often leads to a paradoxical juxtaposition of fury and tranquility on the Great Plains. For the photographer, that moment of perfection can last but a fraction of a second. Stephen Locke possess that unique blend of passionate dedication, preparedness, extreme patience, and a keen eye, capturing nature’s balancing act in a way that many try, but few succeed.  Well done !”~ Evan Bookbinder, Meteorologist, Information Technology Officer at US National Weather Service

Have Us Present Chasing Weather in Your Community!

Since Chasing Weather came out, Stephen and Caryn have given a vibrant presentation -- featuring a virtual storm chase in photography, videos, poetry, and stories -- at many libraries, festivals, community centers, bookstore, colleges, and universities, including Truman State University, Johnson County Community College, Linwood Public Library (KS), Boone County Historical Society (MO), Eat My Words Bookstore (MN), Emporia State University, Pittsburg State University, and many more venues. We would love to come to your community too!

See our Press Kit for more details.Please contact Caryn at or 785/766-7159 to talk about the details, including fees (negotiated based on what works for us all). We love to travel with our books and weather stories.

What People Are Saying About Our Chasing Weather Presentations:

About to Chase WeatherChasing Weather took a packed house on a poetic journey into the heart of some of Kansas’s most terrifyingly beautiful storms.  Free State Festival audiences found Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s words and Stephen Locke’s images fascinating, and the concluding virtual storm chase gave everyone the opportunity to experience the thrills of a Kansas tornado from the safety of their seats. -- Sarah Bishop, coordinator of Free State Arts Festival

In a spellbinding presentation, Caryn and Stephen strike at the heart of the storm. Through poetry and striking photography and video, these two reveal the power of a tornado as well as the power of words and images to depict and express this frightening and awe-inspiring weather many of us in this part of the country know so well. -- Kevin Rabas, Chair - English, Modern Languages, and Journalism, and co-director, Creative Writing Program, Emporia State University

Chasing Weather is a memorable work that combines striking photographs with lyrical poetry, and a presentation by the authors brought the book to life for our community. The dynamic presentation combined a moving poetry reading with a virtual storm chase, then engaged the audience with a thorough Q&A and discussion. The event drew a big crowd, and a wide range of ages. Our library customers enjoyed meeting the authors after the event, and left in high spirits. Many attendees noted that they enjoyed the program, and that they learned about storm chasing, too. -- Miranda Ericsson, Topeka Public Library

Excerpt: "What the Sky is Made Of"

The sky is made of soft rain and hard light,

the old yearning to be held, the ancient fear of not

having enough, and the fountain of wind that says,

Something’s gone, something else is arriving.

The sky is made of rocks shattered finer than

the smallest atoms of human memory, air we call breath

once we take it in and turn it to motion, anger, or song.

The beating of hummingbird wings compose the sky,

as well as the fluttering of muscle on muscle, the space

in between the rain, the drum of the jackrabbit's heart.

The sky is made of rivers before and after they become rivers.

To the Stars Through Difficulties

To the Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices

Buy through Mammoth Publications, 2012, ISBN 978-0-9837995-9-7.

Winner of the Kansas Notable Book Award. Purchase through Mammoth Publications.

Based on the renga unfolding at, this 150-part poem brings together poets throughout and beyond Kansas with a connection to this state of mind and geographical mosaic of place. A "renga" is a collaborative poem based on the Japanese haiku form, often about nature. Poets in the chain take readers across the mythological as well as physical landscape of Kansas. Each poet begins with the seed of an idea from the poem before, writes, and leads the way for the next poet, all the way to the end. Mirriam-Goldberg explains, “The renga draws together descendants of pioneers, lovers of dogs or cats or both, attorneys and people who've spent time in jail, old hippies and young activists, social workers and psychologists, mothers and grandfathers, mathematicians and dancers, college professors emeritus and current students. In our poetic conversation, we celebrate Kansas and make community with readers.”

Renga contributors include Lorraine Achey, Deborah Altus, Christopher Anderson, Amy Ash, Jackie Magnuson Ash, Marie Asner, Thomas Fox Averill, Anne Baber, Walter Bargen, Barry Barnes, K.L. Barron, Joseph Bast, Pat Beckemeyer, Roy Beckemeyer, James Benger, Dan Bentley, Allison Blevins, Elizabeth Black, Lori Brack, Greg Bryant, Callista Buchen, Stephen Bunch, Xánath Caraza, Shauna Carpenter, Benjamin Cartwright, Ignacio Carvajal, Matt Clothier, Cyrus Console, Maril Crabtree, Daniele Cunningham, Rebekah Curry, Brian Daldorph, Mary Stone Dockery, Elizabeth Dodd, Eric Dutton, Louise Eisenbrandt, William Emergy, Jose Faus, Greg Field, Larry Fluery, Reva Friedman, Louie Galloway, Linda Gebert, Greg German, Paul Goldman, Kat Greene, Matt Groneman, Tina Hacker, Anne Haehl, Bill Hagman, A. Lorean Hartness, Lisa Hase-Jackson, Jamie Lynn Heller, Bill Hickok, DaMaris B. Hill, Nancy Hubble, Kelley Hunt, Hazel Smith Hutchinson, Sally Jadlow, Jeremy Johnson, Maria V. Johnson, Melissa Fite Johnson, Lora Jost, Megan Kaminski, William J. Karnowski, Philip Kimball, J. T. Knoll, Susan Kraus, Shelly Krehbiel, Donna Lynn Lash, Ken Lassman, Analisa Lee, Gabriela Ybarra Lemmons, Linda Lobmeyer, Denise Low, Lydia Lowe, Dixie Lubin, Christina Lux, Lori Baker Martin, Lindsey Martin-Bowen, Ramona McCallum, Jim Crary, Jo McDougall, Deborah Ball McGeorge, Chris McKinney, Stephen Meats, Lee Mick, Ronda Miller, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Jacob Moore, Miguel M. Morales, Phillip Carroll Morgan, Michael Nelson, Peg Nichols, Thea Nietfeld, Amy Nixon, Mary O'Connell, Karen Ohnesorge, Al Ortolani, William Ottens, H.C. Palmer, Shawn Pavey, Susan Peters, Timothy Pettet, Dan Pohl, Matthew Porubsky, Kevin Rabas, Ardy Ramberg, Tom Reynolds, Korbin Richards, Susan Rieger, Kenneth Rishel, Linda Rodriguez, Judith Roitman, Rhiannon Ross, Craig Salvey, Mark Scheel, Elizabeth Schultz, Leah Sewell, Melissa Sewell, Tyler Sheldon, William Sheldon, Victoria Sherry, Gail Sloan, Sarah Smarsh, Roland Sodowsky, Olive L. Sullivan, Libeth Tempero, Roderick Townley, Wyatt Townley, Patricia Traxler, Cheryl Unruh, Gloria Vando, Timothy Volpert, Maryfrances Wagner, Dian Wahto, George Wallace, Nicholas Ward, Laura Lee Washburn, Izzie Wasserstein, Rachel White, Iris Wilkinson, John Willison, Peter Andrew Wright, and Pamela McMaster Yesner.

See Caryn's blog on writing the book.

Excerpt: First Two Rengas of To the Stars Through Difficulties

No other way most of the time, and yet the light

unscrolling from the milky horizon conceals what will shine

above, around, below us just hours from now on the longest night.

Snow, ice, and rain: what melts or refreezes clings to branches

and grasses. Did you think it would be easy to step outside,

to get on with the day and the weather of a collapsed blizzard?

Not when a beloved watches his life narrow to breath. Not when

the car barely starts, the windshield won't emerge from its ice, or

the dear ones long gone suddenly are close as sleet is to rain.

The veil lifted. On the bare branch, an inverse star, one bluebird.

~ Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg


And now—there—to the right—the red slash

of a cardinal’s wing, a momentary artery

of flight, flung lifeline from pine

to fencepost, sky to pulsing wrist. Who says

it’s difficult to get the news? Yes,

the cold has spikes, and frozen furrows

of last year’s cornfields stumble

to a blind horizon. But look up:

Big plans unroll on high, black twigs

written on a bright blue sky.

~ Rodney Townley