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Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the 2009-2013 Poet Laureate of Kansas, and a long-time transformative language artist. As a poet, fiction and non-fiction writer, teacher, mentor, and facilitator, she explores and celebrates how the spoken, written and sung word can help us live more meaningful and vibrant lives. Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College (where she teaches), and facilitator of Brave Voice workshops, she values social and personal transformation through the spoken, written and sung word.
Caryn’s 23 books include Miriam’s Well (novel); Following the Curve (poetry); Chasing Weather: Tornadoes, Tempests, and Thunderous Skies in Word and Image, with weather chaser/photographer Stephen Locke; Everyday Magic: Fieldnotes on the Mundane and Miraculous (non-fiction); Poem on the Range: A Poet Laureate’s Love Song to Kansas (memoir); Needle in the Bone: How a Holocaust Survivor and Polish Resistance Fighter Beat the Odds and Found Friendship (non-fiction); To the Stars, Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices (anthology); and The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community & Coming Home to the Body.
As a beloved workshop facilitator with extensive experience she has led workshops for over 25 years for adults in transition, people living with physical or mental illness, intergenerational groups, the Kansas City Latino community, teens and children, and multi-cultural communities. She also offers writing and singing workshops and performances with singer-songwriter Kelley Hunt through their business, Brave Voice. She is the recipient of Kansas Arts Fellowship in Poetry, the Rocky Mountain National Park artist-in-residency, the City of Lawrence Phoenix Award, and other honors.
Caryn loves working with communities to help individuals and groups find and share more of their strongest stories and visions.
Caryn is a dynamic keynote speaker, reader of her poetry and prose (including improvisational poetry), speaker, and teacher. She has given several hundred readings and talks at conferences, colleges, and events, including keynote addresses on topics such as the Beloved Community, Writing Through Cancer, Writing and Healing, and The World as Writing Prompt.
She also has programs available based on some of her books:
Additionally, she offers customized keynote addresses for organizations, businesses, and institutions.
Writing Ourselves and Our Community: A Collaborative Community Writing Project
Caryn offers collaborative community literature projects including writing workshops, revision sessions, public reading tips and approaches, and culminating in a community reading and/or published anthology.
Such workshops can occur as a series (meeting weekly for a specified time) or as a weekend or even one-day event. In all these scenarios, Caryn takes participants through a process of inventing new writing, learning how to home in on strong revision techniques to strengthen the writing, then practice sharing that work with others or, if the work is to be published, engage in a process to have the group edit and publish the work. Such projects end with a celebration reading and, if there’s a new anthology published by the participants, book launch.
Along the way, participants write in community to spark inspiration and witness one another’s process and words while learning:
Caryn’s writing workshops help people of many backgrounds discover greater meaning and joy in writing and community. She has led workshops on many topics, such as:
She also offers workshops on making life transitions, earning a living through the arts (and especially the literary arts), and using the arts for community-building.
She tailors workshops for each group, community, or event.