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Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg reads from her book The Divorce Girl.

Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam Goldberg reads from her book The Divorce Girl as part of the ESU creative writing program's Visiting Writers Series.

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 14 books include:
■The Divorce Girl, a novel of art and soul from Ice Cube Books
■Needle in the Bone: How a Holocaust Survivor and Polish Resistance Fighter Beat the Odds and Found Friendship, forthcoming Nov., 2012 from Potomac Press.
■Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, editor, 2011,Woodley Memorial Press
■An Endless Skyway: Poetry from the State Poets Laureate, co-editor with Marilyn L. Taylor, Denise Low and Walter Bargen, Ice Cube Books
■Landed, poetry, Mammoth Publications
■The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community & Coming Home to the Body, Ice Cube Books
■The Power of Words: A Transformative Language Arts Reader, co-editor with Janet Tallman, Ice Cube Books

Additionally, she has written three other collections of poetry, an award-winning writing guide, and edited anthologies by people living with serious illness, and low-income women of color. Her poetry and prose has been published in dozens of literary journals, magazines and anthologies. Her blog, “Everyday Magic,” focuses on finding greater meaning and joy in life, and she regularly writes columns on yoga and writing.

 students listen as Goldberg reads from her book

As a beloved workshop facilitator with extensive experience Goldberg has led workshops for over 16 years 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. The songs Caryn and Kelley co-write are performed by Kelley and her band in the U.S., and Europe. With her husband, Ken Lassman, Caryn also leads group process, better meetings, facilitation and related workshops for community groups, businesses and institutions.

Caryn was born in Brooklyn, NY, and grew up there as well as in Manalapan, NJ until she headed west to study journalism at the University of Missouri (where she earned a history degree instead). She continued west on I-70 to Kansas City, MO, and then Lawrence, KS. Caryn received her Ph.D. and MA from the University of Kansas (poetry, women’s studies, mythology), and she is certified or extensively trained in grassroots organizing from the Midwest Academy, poetry therapy from the National Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy, and group process and facilitation from the bioregional movement. 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 lives in the country, just south of Lawrence, Kansas with her husband, bioregional writer Ken Lassman, and their family. In addition to writing, she practices and teaches yoga at Westside Yoga.