I offer a variety of workshops and topics on both writing and teaching poetry, and I welcome the opportunity to meet with k12 students, college students, and adult writers.
Email me if you would like more information about these (or other) workshops, or if you are interested in having me read at an event or literary festival.
Sample Workshop Topics
Swamp Monsters and Snotflowers: Poetry of the Nonhuman.
Catherine Carter leads a discussion-based workshop in some of the most common ways that poets engage with nonhuman nature and with specific regions through the poetry of place, using poems by such authors as Ron Rash, Diane Glancy, Robert Morgan, Al Zolynas, and Kathleen Stripling Byer and considering such approaches as the elegiac, the transcendent, the meditative, and the thought-experiment. The workshop includes prompts and writing time for attendees to work on their own poems engaging the nonhuman.
‘Phlogiston After the Fact of Fire’: A Workshop in Crafting Sound.
This workshop begins in lecture, discussing some of the aspects of sonically dense poetry through poets as diverse as Marge Piercy, W.H. Auden, Lucille Clifton, Robert Morgan, and Kay Ryan, but goes on to explore some processes for increasing the sonic density of a given poem. Participants should bring hard copy of one or two of their own short poems to work on.
Bracket and Hinge: Strengthening Poems’ Sonic Level.
In this discussion-based workshop, Catherine Carter uses contemporary poems to a) discuss a few of the ways in which a poem can be built around the sounds of single words, model one possible process for revising a poem in this way, and encourage participants to do this with their own works. Participants should bring hard copy of one or two of their own short poems to work on.
Poetry: What Is It Good For?
This lecture/discussion is geared to middle grades and secondary students, and it’s one Catherine Carter has given in a range of classrooms. Beginning from the premise that while some good poetry is dense and difficult, good poetry doesn’t have to be dense or difficult, this workshop walks students through some very non-threatening poems (including some by kids) as an introduction of some ways to approach poetry that don’t include hunting for symbols, metaphors, or similes. This is a user-friendly introduction to what poetry’s for and how we can interact with it.
It Looks Like a Hairball: Building Short Lyrics Around Sound
This is a lecture/workshop using contemporary poems to discuss a few of the ways in which a poem can be built around the sounds of single words. Activities include modeling one possible process for revising a poem in this way, and working with participants to do this with their own works.
Each year, the UNC Board of Governors selects one faculty from each of its 17 institutions to receive its Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. The recipients are nominated by special committees at each institution and selected by the Board of Governors Committee on Educational Planning, Policies, and Programs. Established by the Board in 1993 to highlight the importance of teaching, the award recognizes the extraordinary contributions of faculty members System wide. I was honored to receive this award in 2021. In recognition of this award, I was asked to offer the commencement address at the May 2021 Arts & Sciences graduation ceremony at WCU. My address begins at 1:01 (with introductions at min 56). I also encourage you to watch the Cherokee Land Acknowledgement Ceremony that was part of this commencement (mins 36-45).