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BIOGRAPHY


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BIOGRAPHY



BIOGRAPHY



Caits Meissner is the author of the hybrid poetry book Let It Die Hungry (The Operating System, 2016), and The Letter All Your Friends Have Written You (Well&Often, 2012), co-written with poet Tishon Woolcock. The recipient of multiple artist residencies and fellowships, including the BOAAT Writers Retreat and The Pan-African Literary Forum, Caits is widely published in literary journals including The Literary Review, Narrative, Adroit, Drunken Boat, Public Pool, and The Offing. Caits holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York, where she was awarded The Jerome Lowell DeJur Prize in Creative Writing, an Educational Enrichment Award and The Teacher-Writer Award.

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, consulted and co-created extensively for over 15 years across a wide spectrum of communities including public schools and youth programs, college classrooms at The New School University and CUNY, disability support and advocacy programs, detention centers and needle exchanges. From 2012-2014, Caits ignited 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.

Caits currently serves as Writer-in-Residence at Bronx Academy of Letters, where she oversees a social justice and writing program, and is a part-time faculty at City College of New York, teaching essay writing through the lens of Narrative Medicine. 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 — an effort that received social change grants from The Pollination Project and the Puffin Foundation, as well as an honorable mention for Split This Rock's 2017 Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism.


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TESTIMONIALS


TESTIMONIALS

TESTIMONIALS


TESTIMONIALS

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"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 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

"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 TESTIMONIALS)