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Photo by Kevin Rabas

Selected Venues & Communities

Organizations & Businesses: Google Tech Team, Turning Point, KS.; Institute of Culture of Moreles, Cuernavaca, Mexico; Sky Island Alliance, AZ; The Community Mercantile management team, KS; The Guadalupe Center, Kansas City; The Loft Literary Center, MN; Delaware Street Commons Cohousing, KS; Douglas County Housing Authority, KS.; Kansas Historical Museum, Topeka.

Colleges: Institute of Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas, State University of New York at Potsdam, Truman State University, University of Kansas, Goddard College, Pittsburg State University, Johnson County Community College, Brookdale Community College, Lebanon Community College, Haskell Indian Nations University.


Medical Centers: Walter Reed Military Medical Center, The Menninger’s Foundation, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Stormont-Vail Medical Center, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, University of Kansas Medical Center.


Conferences: The Power of Words, International Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, National Storytelling Network,  Associated Writing Programs, Continental Bioregional Congress, National Association for Poetry Therapy, The Examined Life: Writing & the Art of Medicine, National Association of Drama Therapy, Poetry and Politics Poetry Laureate Conference, and more.

Other Venues: Libraries, bookstores, community centers, festivals, and more across the country

About Caryn

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, a writer, teacher, and facilitator, and coach and consultant who explores how the spoken, written and sung word can help us live more vibrant lives. Founder of Transformative Language Arts, 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 widely. 


Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is a visionary. She bases her writing within communities for community empowerment. I cannot tell how strongly I feel that we are lucky to have her here for her significant and sustained contributions to the word arts. ~ Denise Low, 2007-09 Kansas Poet Laureate

As a beloved workshop facilitator, she has led workshops since 1992 for adults in transition, people living with serious illness, and intergenerational and multi-cultural groups. She loves collaborative adventures and leads Brave Voice writing and singing retreats and performances with singer-songwriter Kelley Hunt, Your Right Livelihood with creativity and career coach Kathryn Lorenzen, and The Art of Facilitation classes with poet and facilitator Joy Roulier Sawyer. She adores collaborating with coaching clients on writing, facilitation, and right livelihood.​

Caryn regularly designs and facilitates sessions for businesses, research institutes, organizations and universities to build  a greater sense of shared purpose, analyze and learn from past endeavors, and set short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. 

Caryn was born in Brooklyn, and grew up there and in Manalapan, N.J. until she headed west to study journalism at the University of Missouri, where she got a labor history degree instead. She continued west to Lawrence, Kansas, where she fell in love with the land, community, and her husband.


Caryn received her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, and she has trained in organizational development and group process, grassroots organizing, poetry therapy, and teaching yoga. She taught for 33 years on the college level, including at Goddard College for 22 years, Haskell Indian Nations University, and the University of Kansas. She is the recipient of Kansas Arts Fellowship in Poetry, the Rocky Mountain National Park artist-in-residency, and other honors. 

Caryn lives in the country, just south of Lawrence, Kansas with her husband, bioregional writer Ken Lassman, a rescue border collie with abandonment issues and an tiny alpha cat who rules the roost, plus three young adult children who visit to the delight of all the humans and animals.

Read "How I Got This Way," Caryn's poem about becoming a writer and continually walking the path of the poem. It's right here.

About Transformative Language Arts

Transformative Language Arts (TLA) draws upon the power of writing, storytelling, performance, music, and other word arts for personal and social transformation.


Founded by Caryn in 2000 first as a master's program at Goddard College, TLA is an emerging profession and field of study, naming for many a vibrant life calling. In 2003, Caryn founded the Power of Words conference, which brings together people globally to explore liberation, social change, healing, and community-building through writing, storytelling, theater, spoken word, music, and other arts. With Power of Words attendees in 2005, she co-founded the TLA Network, an innovative non-profit offering online classes, training, resources, events, and the Power of Words conference.

Transformative Language artists envision a merger of the the language arts with individual and collective liberation: writing, storytelling, theatre, and music can work towards community-building, cultural and ecological restoration, and personal development.  Caryn has co-edited two seminal TLA anthologies, The Power of Words: A TLA Reader  with Janet Tallman, and Transformative Language Arts in Action with Ruth Farmer.

While the Goddard TLA program is no longer operating, the TLA Network is flourishing with many offerings and inspirations. Find out more at, and please consider joining us!


Top photo: graduates of the TLA concentration at Goddard College, from left: Deb Hensley, Joanna Tebbs Young, Amber Ellis, Miriam Gabriel, Caryn, Scott Youmans, Taina Asili, and Seema Reza. Bottom photo: Rhiannon leading people in singing at the Power of Words conference in Saco, Maine.

Blue Sky

Photo by Stephen Locke

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. 


I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and working with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg for the past decade, and have rarely encountered a more insightful, compassionate, or integrous teacher and coach. Like the poet David Whyte, Caryn brings decades of experience as a writer to her work with organizations and individuals seeking outside-the-box wisdom, and creative solutions to problems in the workplace. An expert in guiding clients toward their “right livelihood,” she combines practical advice with artistic principles that focus on innovation, well-being, and creative freedom. ~ Mark Matousek, writer, teacher, and founder of The Seekers Forum​

Selected Interviews, Features & Reviews 

The Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg Collection

The archive of Caryn’s work, writing, and life is housed in Special Collections of Pittsburg State University’s Leonard A. Axe Library.

Access the digital version of the collection here.

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