Catie Rosemurgy, 2012 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.
Cover of Catie Rosemurgy's The Stranger Manual, published by Graywolf Press (2010).
"I am working to capture the play of presence and absence, the haunting that fascinates us, even long before we ask, 'What happened here?'"
Catie Rosemurgy's (b. 1969) wry and sharply imagined poems investigate the layered natures of identity, history, and narrative. The author of two collections of poetry published by Graywolf Press, The Stranger Manual (2010) and My Favorite Apocalypse (2001), Rosemurgy's current work-in-progress explores the back story of a fictional town called Gold River. The world of Gold River is a cross between historical research and fantasy, modeled after formerly bustling shipping and lumber towns of the Upper Midwest, which peaked in the late 19th century and have experienced steep declines since. The new collection, tentatively titled, "The Small Museum of Our Burning," is influenced by great American historic novels, and seeks to deconstruct and challenge the narrative structures of such works, while blurring the boundaries between prose and poetry. "The nature of storytelling is my subject matter," Rosemurgy says. "I want to write a book that's hard to classify, a book that calls out to many different kinds of books as kindred spirits."
Rosemurgy earned her MFA in poetry at the University of Alabama and has been the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Award for Emerging Female Artists as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She currently teaches at The College of New Jersey. She participated in the Center's 2013 iteration of No Idea is Too Ridiculous, for which she developed a new digital interactive poetry project with programmer and poet Noah Schoenholtz.