Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 1.50.17 PM.png
tumblr_mzhdogO1bm1qczz2ho1_1280.jpg
Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 1.50.17 PM.png

BIOGRAPHY


ABOUT

SCROLL DOWN

BIOGRAPHY


ABOUT


Write poems. Make art. Engage community.


IMG_4121 (1).jpg


CAITS MEISSNER is a poly-creative poet, artist and transformative facilitator known for her vibrant spirit and dynamic ability to pull creative juice from the accomplished artist to the everyman. Invested in the rehabilitative capacity of art, Caits emphasizes guided vulnerability and ethical community engagement in her teaching and consulting practices. Through writing Caits seeks to complicate our ideas about humanity, stepping beyond binaries of good/bad and right/wrong, grappling with the gray area of a troubled world. 


ABOUT CREATIVE WORK

Caits Meissner is the author of Let It Die Hungry (2016, The Operating System) and The Letter All Your Friends Have Written You (2012, Well&Often), co-written with Tishon Woolcock. Her poetry has been published in anthologies and journals such as Drunken Boat, The Literary Review, Public Pool, Adriot, The Offing, Split This Rock Poem of the Week and The Feminist Wire, and has been awarded first place prizes from the Pan-African Literary Forum, the Ja-Nai Foundation and City College's The Jerome Lowell DeJur Prize in Creative Writing. She is an MFA Candidate at City College of New York.

Multidisciplinary by nature, Caits holds a BFA in Communication Design from Pratt Institute and experiments with writing's relationship to illustrations and sound. In 2010 her album, the wolf & me, was released to accolades on platforms such as Okayplayer. "Fresh, honest and loving," Erykah Badu called Caits' blend of poetry and music, naming her "a delicate heart like mine." 


ABOUT COMMUNITY WORK

With a significant history in community arts, Caits was an integral team member in developing programs for organizations such as Tribeca Film Institute, Urban Arts Partnership, The Facing History School and The Lower Eastside Girls Club. She has taught and consulted extensively for over 15 years across a wide spectrum of organizations and community spaces including social justice and youth programs, spaces of incarceration, public schools and needle exchanges. Read more specifics on roles and organizations here.

In 2012, Caits launched the #GrowFierce community, an intensive writing course supporting women in exploring artistic expression and profound self-examination. Caits and her team served over 500 women worldwide in the guided online engagement that matured into State-sponsored cultural exchange in Malaysia, live youth and prison programs, and a series of public events.


ABOUT CURRENT WORK

Caits currently serves as Writer-in-Residence at Bronx Academy of Letters, where she oversees a social justice and writing program, and is piloting a creative writing exchange between free and incarcerated youth. She is a part-time faculty at CUNY and The New School University, where she teaches the ethics and practice of co-creating with community groups. She is excited to be writing with ReEmergent Theatre’s first production, a company in collaboration with people emerging from prison. You can find her using her book as a good excuse to offer free writing workshops and collaborative readings at jails, prisons and reentry programs across the United States on The Humans That We Are Prison Poetry Tour.

Psst! Looking for a condensed press bio? Try this.


SELECT PRESS
 


 
 
tumblr_mzhdogO1bm1qczz2ho1_1280.jpg

TESTIMONIALS


TESTIMONIALS

SCROLL DOWN

TESTIMONIALS


TESTIMONIALS

"Caits made enormous impact on our organization, inspiring students to produce work beyond their wildest dreams; helping teachers unlock creative potential giving them courage to take risks; advancing our strategic thinking as a community, and bringing her vision, optimism, hope and soul into every situation. Wherever Caits is, that is where the sun is shining."

— PHILIP COURTNEY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, URBAN ARTS PARTNERSHIP


"There is no doubt in my mind that Caits will continue to contribute to our culture’s understanding of poetry and the living word. She models precisely the kind of poet who can make things happen, not only for herself, but for those around her."

— PATRICK ROSAL, AUTHOR OF BONESHEPHERDS


"Caits ran the Tribeca Film Institute's Tribeca Teaches while I was Executive Director, and the program thrived under her direction. Caits is that rare combination of creative force and consummate professional and I have no hesitation in recommending her fully!"

BETH JANSON, MEDIA & PHILANTHROPY CONSULTANT


"When Caits facilitated a poetry workshop with women, ages 16-24, in a New York correctional facility, I was in awe of the way she quickly built strong, authentic relationships with participants and was able to transform an often chaotic environment into a space ripe with emotional safety."

KARLA ROBINSON, MS.ED, ARTS ADMIN, EDUCATOR AND POET

 

READ MORE.