Catching Up with Carolyn Williams-Noren

Where can we read some of your recent work?

A new-ish lyric essay, “A Lot of White,” is up at Hobart. I wrote it in conversation with an abstract painting and an ekphrasis show, and it’s about whiteness, mistakenness, and misreading, among other things. Besides that, a couple of new poems are coming out this winter in Cimarron Review and Under a Warm Green Linden. I’ve also written some kids’ non-fiction over the past couple of years, so check your elementary school library for my books on dairy products, video games, twenty-first century catastrophes, and so forth. 

What are you reading right now?

I just read Melanie Figg’s collection, Trace, and I’m kind of blown away by how gorgeous and gutting it is on just about every level. Word, line, poem, whole book. Melanie was my first poetry teacher years ago, so it’s a particular joy to see what she’s done here. 

I’m also making my way through Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers. I picked it up by chance at a museum gift shop (!) and it’s introduced me to some writers whose work I want to follow. It’s also put together in an interesting way (by … shape), and I feel like it would be a good resource for anyone who teaches creative nonfiction.

What’s next for you? 

Ethel Zine & Press is going to publish a short chapbook of my poems in spring 2020.  They make books with a pieced-together, irreverent domestic aesthetic, and they topstitch their covers by machine like Ramona Quimby dreamed of, so it feels like a great fit.

In other self-promotional news, here’s what I’m up to as a freelancer. I have room for a new gig or two, and I’d especially like to do ghostwriting or copywriting for a person or org with big ideas.


Carolyn writes poems and essays. You can find her here, here, or here.