as of recently...
Get In the Way is a PBS film about civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis. I am proud to have written the educational guide to accompany the film. Download for free and use and share widely at getinthewaymovie.com!
I am honored to have a poem featured in Territory lit journal’s Prisons issue, where I responded to a map of solitary confinement. Read here.
A conversation with Janelle Hardy about the book The Giving Tree opened up layered thinking about how we give (especially as women) in the "helping professions," and the challenge of being in creative action. Listen here.
An organization I love and admire, Split This Rock (poems of provocation and witness) published my poem, Loving the Enemy in their Poem of the Week series.
A new essay on teaching & writing dangerously was published on VIDA, a kickass org supporting women in the literary arts. Read on Reports from the Field here.
Wow! "I have never seen anything like Caits Meissner’s first solo collection: Let It Die Hungry. Brave. Eclectic. Essential. Especially in this day and age when the rats in power are filling the swamp with evil droppings. Let It Die Hungry is a manifesto, a manual, a survivor’s message-in-a-bottle and a battle-cry." Read in full here.
It is an encouraging experience to be named a finalist in the June Jordan Fellowship, a new effort for social justice-based arts community teaching at Columbia University. Check out who snagged it here.
A few years ago, Jon Sands, Samantha Thornhill and I, as a project of Pop Up Poets, interviewed a handful of Brooklynites about (extra)ordinary moments of kindness they'd had bestowed upon them, or bestowed upon others, and invited poets to respond. Watch what happened through this moving process here.
My poem, The Visiting Room, was a finalist in Narrative Magazine's yearly contest. I'm thrilled to be published among their impressive archives! Read here.
A short interview with the Transformative Language Arts Network on poetry of witness, and what you might expect in the upcoming class. Read here.
How exciting to be honored with The Teacher-Writer Award from the English Department at City College for what I love to do!
A generous review of my book in San Quentin's impressive prison newspaper, written by Juan Haines, senior editor. Scroll to page 16!
Proud to see (Re)Emergent Theatre profiled on the news with such a generous depiction of our work. Building community, sure have. Check the video!
A 700+ page book of resistance and power in the face of Trump's vision of America. This is an archive worth having on your shelves. I am lucky to have a poem in it's pages. Purchase here.
Grateful for an honorable mention for Split This Rock's 2017 Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism. It's especially an honor to see my name among so many incredible change makers! People are doing good work.
The Humans That We Are prison poetry tour is featured in the Huffington Post! A recent grant is allowing me to expand my efforts to develop free creative writing workbooks for incarcerated writers. Read more here.
What a review! Special thanks to Jahan Mantin for sharing her perspectives (and making an author blush) on Let It Die Hungry.
I was asked some challenging questions about the act of witnessing while teaching and writing in this dialogue with Kelly DuMar for the Let's Talk TLA (Transformative Language Arts) series. The live conversation was captured on video, and if you're curious, watch here.
This poem has been getting so much play lately, and for good reason: it's FULL of heart. Originally published in Day One by Morgan Parker, and now in Verse Daily: Praise Poem, for the women poets at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.
Dang! Now this is a list of poems to inspire. I'm grateful to have made my way onto both the 2015 & 2016 recommended reading lists alongside some of my favorite current poets. I recommend Glass Poetry Journal's taste! Read here.
Wren of Hazel & Wren shares a vibrant review of Let It Die Hungry in the What We're Reading This Week column. Get some other excellent suggestions while you're at it, too. Read here.
The Pollination Project has supported The Humans That We Are Prison Poetry Tour with an $1,000 grant, exclusively used to produce physical writing workbooks with 10 extensive writing prompts for the participants of our workshops! It is extremely satisfying to be able to leave a take-away after each session, to support the continued lives of these writers in their practice.
"A New York City-based poet, artist, and activist adds to the ongoing conversation about who holds power in our world." Read here!
I'm excited to share that this amount will allow engagement with multiple facilities and reentry programs in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Massachusetts, across New York State and Austin, Texas. If I get lucky with number crunching, I also intend to add Fort Collins, Colorado to my list. Lastly, I am seeking connections in the Philly and D.C. area, where I have scheduled public readings. If you know anyone, please don't be shy in connecting us!