I write. And help others write through the blank or overflowing page, through what we know to what we don't know. I know what my students know all through my body: writing is hard and holy, mysterious and ecstatic, puts us on and over the edge. In all my teaching, I try to make a loving place for people to gather, find courage, and trek into the wilds of their lives. I’m also guided by my life as part of the earth, and specific to where I live, the tall-grass prairie, and the understanding that our healing and the earth’s is interwoven at every turn.
My inner-Goddard is accompanied by fine companion-work, particularly as I serve as Poet Laureate of Kansas, which takes me throughout and beyond Kansas to explore the power of our stories.
My own writing is a menagerie of genres. I’m currently working on a novel, and two memoirs, one about cancer, healing and community, and another on reinhabitation of body, land, and memory. My poems and essays are published in literary journals and anthologies, and I give frequent readings (usually featuring spontaneous poetry composed aloud).
I facilitate workshops for many populations – people living with cancer, low-income women of color, adults in transition, and rural elders, and I serve as a roving scholar for the Kansas Humanities Council.
I am particularly interested in writing and storytelling as an ecological and spiritual practice, and also in how writing and storytelling in groups can weave or reweave community by breaking the silences that hide us from each other.
I also perform spoken word poetry in collaboration with other artists on interfaith dialogue, cultivating courage in the face of loss, and trying to constantly figure out how to live. Some of this collaborative performance happens with my songwriting partner, Kelley Hunt, a rhythm and blues singer who performs our songs on tour around the continent.
Although I began my life in Coney Island, after being raised by a pack of Jewish raccoons near the Jersey shore, I followed I-70 west to Lawrence, KS., where I've lived over half my life. It is a fierce and gentle place where men stroll downtown in chartreuse evening gowns, anarchists set up tent cities in the park, hundreds march for peace while sipping lattes and debating school closings, lilac and basketball abound, dissent happens, and artists decorate their gardens with festively-painted bowling balls.
I’m a member of the Transformative Language Arts Council, and also the founder of the Transformative Language Arts concentration in Goddard College Master of Arts in Individualized Studies program, which combines social and individual transformation through the written and spoken word.
I share my home with three curious kids, my husband, a cat who rules, a dog who obeys, a bonsai hamster and miniature rabbit, a small herd of deer, a bunch of coyotes, many turkey, various spiders, occasional bobcat, compost-eating crows, a red fox, one or two owls making harmonics at night, and a very big sky full of endless entertainment.
Books: The Divorce Girl (a novel, Ice Cube Press, 2012); An Endless Skyway: Poetry from the State Poets Laureate, co-edited with Marilyn L. Taylor, Denise Low and Walter Bargen; The Sky Begins at Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community & Coming Home to the Body (Ice Cube Press); four volumes of poetry: Landed, Animals in the House, Reading the Body; Write Where You Are (Free Spirit Press), Sandra Cisneros: Activist and Writer (Enslow Press), A Circle of Women, A Circle of Words (editor, Mammoth Press).
Websites: www.CarynMirriamGoldberg.com, blog at www.CarynMirriamGoldberg.wordpress.com, www.BraveVoice.com