Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the 2009-2013 Poet Laureate of Kansas, a long-time transformative language artist, and the author or editor of 24 books, including poetry, memoir, fiction, non-fiction, and anthologies.  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. The founder of Transformative Language Arts, she values social and personal transformation through the spoken, written and sung word.

Caryn brings to her classes over thirty years of experience teaching at the college level (including coordinating a master’s program at Goddard College) and facilitating community workshops and retreats around the country. As a beloved workshop facilitator with extensive experience she has led workshops for adults in transition, people living with physical or mental illness, intergenerational groups, and multi-cultural communities. She also offers writing and singing workshops and performances with singer-songwriter Kelley Hunt through their business, Brave Voice. With Kathryn Lorenzen, she co-leads Your Right Livelihood, a training to help people discern and plan their creative livelihoods. Along with Joy Roulier Sawyer, she has been teaching workshop and retreat facilitation through The Art of Facilitation. She also offers writing coaching to writers of poetry, memoir, fiction and mixed genre works.

Caryn’s book include: How Time Moves: New and Selection Poems, Miriam’s Well (a novel), Needle In Bone: How a Holocaust Survivor and Polish Resistance Right Beat the Odds and Found Each Other (nonfiction), Chasing Weather: Tornadoes, Templest, and Thunderous Skies in Word and Image with photographer Stephen Locke, and The Sky Begins at Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community, and Coming Home to the Body. 

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Student Feedback for Caryn

I have fallen in love with your writing instruction within the last year. You make us all feel fulfilled and artistic in our striving to express ourselves. Your class has, indeed, saved some lives! – Georgia Copeland

Caryn’s skill, talent, wit, and wisdom have shown me the way to begin writing again, which is a restorative healing process. Caryn has taught me to reach deep within and unabashedly, without apology or shame, to tell my own story. – Julie Flora

Beyond being detailed, caring, and brilliant in her editing, teaching, and consulting work, there is something about Caryn’s warm, authentic, empowering, Inspiring, and joyful presence that I have rarely observed in other leaders. – Harriet Lerner

After each class I recognize the peaceful place the class creates in me. My response to listening to others and hearing your responses to our work fills me with contentment, joy ,and satisfaction. The level of trust that we experience opens us to heartfelt honesty even as deeply painful experiences are shared.  Thank you for the sparks your words create. –  Patricia Durkin

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and working with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg for the past decade, and have rarely encountered a more insightful, compassionate, or integrous teacher and coach. – Mark Matousek

To work with Caryn is to open your mind to the creative power within, and to show and better appreciate the creative power of others. – Tracy Million Simmons

You are truly one of the best facilitators I’ve ever seen, and your ability to create a safe space for all of us is so magical. — Beverly Stewart

Having taken several classes with Caryn, I find her expertise and thoughtful critique helpful to my writing.  She is a teacher I want to continue studying with, and I am grateful for her work. – Jan Stanton

I have taken two online classes with Caryn and have enjoyed them very much. She encourages a very positive online community atmosphere, provides an inspirational variety of readings and writing prompts, and gives useful and supportive feedback on student writing. – Anne Marvin

Caryn’s workshops provides both hope and a distraction from the issues of those suffering. – John L. Swainston

I found the course to be a gentle invitation to probe one’s life experiences and bring them to the present in a nurturing and kindly way. I especially liked how the course was structured from the immediate to the universal and opportunities for growth. Readings were relevant and inspiring, and it was refreshing to interact with the other participants. – Jennifer Pratt-Walter 

Caryn provides a wealth of material for her students, introducing us to a variety of poets and poems. Her teaching style is generous and nurturing. – Ruth McArthur

I was not expecting your course to change my life, but I was very eager to have the immersion now in more poetry, as well as a structure (which I need) to start up writing again. I also appreciated your very inclusive approach to teaching online, including acknowledgement that people could engage with the material at any level they wished, up what you called “living in it.” – Jan Hitchcock

As a once upon a time educator before my disability, I recognize superlative teaching. And I just want to say that your hand out, the poems you chose, the prompts, the way you hold space for your students, and the rhythm of the workshop you offered all demonstrated that you are a top notch teacher. Your kindness and understanding was like a salve to my hurting and struggling writer self. And I just want to say that aside from your mastery of teaching, who you are shines loving kindness into the dark and difficult spaces. – Marya Summers