Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the 2009-2012 Kansas Poet Laureate. She is a poet, writer, teacher, and writing facilitator with over 30 years behind the pen. She coordinates the Transformative Language Arts program at Goddard College, where she teaches.

She is currently busy writing songs with Kelley Hunt, she blogs “Everyday Magic,” yoga columns, and, and her forthcoming books are Needle in the Bone: A Holocaust Survivor and Polish Resistance Fighter Beat the Odds and Find Friendship (Potomac Press); a novel, The Divorce Girl (Ice Cube Books, release date: 7/7/12). She is currently writing poetry in conjunction with storm and tornado photos by Stephen Locke for a collaborative book, and a novel about biblical Miriam wandering the spiritual and political landscape of America for 40 years. She continues to lead workshops, give presentations and readings throughout and beyond Kansas.

Her books include memoir on ecology, embodiment and cancer called The Sky Begins at Your Feet; a new collection of poetry, Landed; and My Tree of Life: Writing & Living Through Serious Illness, an anthology she’s editing for Turning Point of Kansas City.She is author of eleven books, including Write Where You Are: How to Use Writing to Make Sense of Your Life, and three books of poetry, Animals in the House, Lot’s Wife, and Reading the Body. Most recently, she co-edited (with Janet Tallman) The Power of Words: A Transformative Language Arts Reader. Her poetry and prose are published in over 50 journals, magazines and anthologies.

In addition to writing, Caryn has a deep interest in music and art. Her songs co-written with Kelley Hunt have been performed by Hunt and the Kelley Hunt Band on Hunt’s recordings, and around the world, including on Prairie Home Companion. Caryn has been quietly songwriting for piano since a young age, and in recent years, she is learning the cello. Over the years, she has explored beading, collage, and mandalas.

Her performance pieces include, with Kelley Hunt and the 940 Dancers, “Dangerous Curves: Breast Cancer Awareness” and “Dangerous Curves II: Surviving and Thriving.” She regularly collaborates on performances with both Kelley Hunt and dancer Laura Ramberg, including a Nov., 2011 performance on the panel, “Who Dances?: Dance Dialogues,” which featured internationally-renowned choreographer and dancer Karole Armitage and KU dance professor Michelle Heffner-Hayes.  She has also participated in and organized numerous collaborations over two decades, with dancers, musicians, and artists.

Caryn has a PhD in literature with specialties in poetry and mythology, and she’s a certified poetry therapist. She was awarded the 2006-2008 Kansas Arts Commission Fellowship for Poetry, the Rocky Mountain National Park artist-in-residency for 2005, the National Association for Poetry Therapy education award, the City of Lawrence Phoenix Award for literary excellence, among other awards. Her poetry and prose are published in over 50 literary journals and anthologies, and she gives frequent readings.

Caryn facilitates workshops on writing, callings and right livelihood, writing as a spiritual practice, ecopoetics, and other topics at conferences, retreat centers, community centers and gatherings. She is also passionate about yoga as a way of reinhabiting the body. Caryn helped found the Transformative Language Arts Network, the Continental Bioregional Congress, and the Kansas Area Watershed Council. She has also worked as a community organizer, conference organizer, and journalist.

See Caryn’s website. Like “the poet laureate of Kansas” on facebook too!

Venues where Caryn has presented workshops, readings, classes and presentations:


  • Turning Point, Kansas City, MO.
  • Institute of Cuture of Moreles, Cuernavaca, Mexico
  • HueHue Coyotl Ecovillage, Moreles, Mexico
  • The Writers Place, Kansas City, MO.
  • The Guadalupe Center, Kansas City, MO.
  • The Kansas Interegeneration Network, Ottawa, KS.
  • Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority, Lawrence, KS.
  • The Pelathe Center’s Midnight Poetry League project, Lawrence, KS.
  • Marion County Women’s Network, KS.
  • Lawrence Jewish Community Center, Lawrence, KS
  • The Farm, Summertown, TN.
  • Kansas Area Watershed Council Annual Gatherings through Kansas
  • The Light Center, Baldwin, KS.


  • Goddard College, Plainfield, VT.
  • Pittsburg State University, KS.
  • Emporia State University, KS.
  • Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, N.J.
  • Garden City Community College, KS.
  • Lebanon Community College, Lebanon, N.H.
  • Hutchinson Community College, KS.
  • Friends University, Topeka, KS.
  • Naugatuck Valley Community College, Naugatuck, CT.
  • Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence, KS.
  • Bethel College, Newton, KS.
  • University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

Medical Centers:

  • Stormont-Vail Medical Center, Topeka, KS.
  • St. Joseph Hospital, Kansas City, MO.
  • Lawrence Memorial Hospital Oncology Center, Lawrence, KS.
  • The Menninger’s Foundation, Topeka, KS.
  • University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA.


  • White Memorial Camp, Council Grove, KS.
  • Earthaven Ecovillage, Camp Elliott, N.C.
  • National Association for Poetry Therapy Annual Conference
  • The Examined Life: Writing & the Art of Medicine, Iowa City, IA
  • North American Bioregional Congress & Continental Bioregional Congress in North Carolina, British Columbia, Texas, Maine, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
  • National Association for Poetry Therapy Conferences in N.M., FL., CA., MN., MO. And Wash., D.C.
  • The Power of Words Conference, Goodard College, Plainfield, VT. and Philadelphia, PA. since 2003.


  • Libraries throughout Kansas and Kansas City, MO.
  • School Systems throughout Kansas and Kansas City, MO.
  • Bookstores through Kansas, Missouri and other states

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