Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

2009-2013 Poet Laureate of Kansas

Caryn Mirriam-GoldbergCaryn Mirriam-Golderg, Ph.D., is the 2009-2013 Poet Laureate of Kansas. Her career as a poet, fiction and non-fiction writer, songwriter, teacher, mentor, and facilitator focuses on how the power of words can bring us greater meaning and vitality. As founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches, she also values social and personal transformation through spoken, written, and sung word. Dr. Mirriam-Goldberg has extensive experience facilitating community writing workshops for many populations and with singer-songwriter Kelley Hunt Brave Voice retreats and performances. She received her Ph.D. and MA from the University of Kansas (poetry, women’s studies, mythology), and she is certified grassroots organizing and groups facilitation, poetry therapy, and as a yoga teacher. She is the recipient of Kansas Arts Fellowship in Poetry, the Rocky Mountain National Park artist-in-residency, and other honors. Dr. Mirriam-Goldberg is the author or editor of more than 16 books, most recently include The Divorce Girl, a novel (Ice Cube Press), Needle in the Bone: How a Holocaust Survivor and Polish Resistance Fighter Beat the Odds and Found Each Other, non-fiction (Potamac Press), and Landed, poetry (Mammoth Publications). She has been a discussion leader with the Kansas Humanities Council’s TALK program since 1992.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s Poet Laureate projects included:

  • Poetry Across Kansas: Reading and Writing Our Way Home — community writing workshops and training and resources for community members to facilitate ongoing writing circles.
  • Collaborative web-based poetry projects, followed by publication of two anthologies, and “Poetry Caravan” extensive reading tours for each book. The 2011 project was Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems to celebrate Kansas’s Sesquicentennial, followed by To The Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices in 2012, and “Poem of the Week” in 2013.
  • Poetry Month Activities, which included poetry contests, the Kansas Daily Poem in Your Pocket, and a poetry pen-pal project that matched up writers throughout the state.
  • Poet Laureati: A National Convergence of Poets Laureate, featuring 20 state poets for a two-day conference in 2011, and Poet Laureati: A Midwestern Convergence of Poets Laureate, with eight state poets laureate for a two day conference in 2010.
  • An Endless Skyway: Poetry from the State Poets Laureate, co-edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Marilyn L. Taylor, Denise Low and Walter Bergen (all state poets laureate).
  • Write From Your Life Columns and Podcasts, including High Plains Public Radio shows.
  • Shepherding the poet laureate program from its previous organizational home, the Kansas Arts Commission, to its new home at the Kansas Humanities Council.