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: Finding the Work You Love with creativity and career coach Kathryn Lorenzen, and The Art of Facilitation classes with poet and facilitator Joy Roulier Sawyer. She also adores collaborating with coaching clients on writing, facilitation, and right livelihood.
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 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.
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
Interviews, Features & Reviews (partial list):
- Five Ways Writing Can Make You Braver and Happier by Harriet Lerner in Psychology Today
- Write Now at the Writers' Colony Podcast with Chad Gurley
- Author interview with Cheryl Unruh on A Rumor of Coyotes
- Kevin Willmott and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg on Kansas Public Radio Presents
- Here's What Happens When a Poet and Photographer Chase Kansas Weather Together on New Letters on the Air
- Voice of Beauty: Interview with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg in Psychology Today
- From Poetry to History on KCUR radio
Selected Venues and Communities
Organizations & Businesses: 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: 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, Naugatuck Valley Community College.
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.
Other Venues: Libraries throughout the Midwest, bookstores, community centers and more across the country; book tours in Kansas, Vermont, Missouri, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa.
Be a Patron
“I have been so impressed with Caryn that I have become one of her Patrons via Patreon. In this time of the pandemic, her email Patron care packages have been a bright spot, a comfort, a source of encouragement, and an inspiration. All the things that Caryn is herself.” ~ Erin McGrane, writer and musician. More here.