Caitlin Cowan


Muskegon, MI

Author's Bio


Born and raised in the Midwest, Caitlin Cowan’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in The Rumpus, New Ohio Review, Pleiades, Missouri Review, THRUSH Poetry Journal, Denver Quarterly, SmokeLong Quarterly, Rappahannock Review, and elsewhere. A finalist for the Akron Prize, Levis Prize, and Wheeler Prize in Poetry, she has won the Littoral Press Poetry Prize, the Ron McFarland Prize for Poetry, the Mississippi Review Prize, and an Avery Hopwood Award. Her work has received support from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Vermont Studio Center. She holds a PhD in English and has taught writing at the University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University, and Interlochen Center for the Arts. She serves as the Chair of Creative Writing at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and as an Associate Poetry Editor for Pleiades. She writes regularly at PopPoetry. Learn more at

Publications & Prizes

Erase the Patriarchy (University of Hell Press, 2020)
New Poetry from the Midwest (New American Press, 2019)
Journals: ,
Bad Pony
Barstow & Grand
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Boxcar Poetry Review
Catch Up
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Denver Quarterly
Fawlt Magazine
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Kaleidoscope Review
Midwestern Gothic
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Mississippi Review
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Nightjar Review
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Public Pool
ROAR Magazine
Rogue Agent
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Tinderbox Poetry Journal
Up North Lit
Prizes won: 

Nominee, Best New Poets – 2021, Salt Hill; Honorable Mention, Small Orange Emerging Woman Poet Honor – 2021; Finalist, OSU Press/The Journal Wheeler Prize for Poetry – 2020; Semifinalist, Brittingham & Pollak Prizes – 2020; Finalist, Akron Poetry Prize – 2020; Nominee, Best of the Net – 2020; Semifinalist, YesYes Books Pamet River Prize – 2020; Semifinalist, Sundress Publications Poetry Broadside Contest – 2020; Finalist, Levis Prize in Poetry – 2019, judge Gregory Pardlo; Finalist, BOAAT Book Award – 2019, judge Matt Rasmussen; Finalist, Wolverine Press Broadside Contest – 2019, judge Jennifer Givhan; Semifinalist, Boston Discovery Contest – 2019, judges Timothy Donnelly & Mai Der Vang; Winner, Helen Schaible International Sonnet Contest – 2019, Poets & Patrons of Chicago; Recipient, Tennessee Williams Scholarship in Poetry – 2019, Sewanee Writers’ Conference; Nominee, Denton Arts and Music (DAM) Award (Published Author) – 2018 & 2019; Literary Awards, Recognition, & Grants, Cont’d; Recipient, Howard Nemerov Scholarship in Poetry  – 2018, Sewanee Writers’ Conference; Winner, Littoral Press Poetry Prize – 2017, judge Judy Halebsky; Nominee, Best New Poets – 2017, Boxcar Poetry Review; Recipient, Vermont Studio Center Grant – 2016; Semifinalist, Ahsahta Press Sawtooth Book Prize – 2016, judge Ed Roberson; Second Prize, O’Donoghue Internat’l Poetry Competition – 2015, judge Matthew Sweeney; Nominee, Best New Poets – 2014 & 2015, University of North Texas; Finalist, New Letters Literary Award – 2014, judge Dennis Finnell; Winner, Mississippi Review Prize – 2013, judge Rebecca Morgan Frank; Runner-Up, So to Speak Poetry Contest – 2013, judge Danielle Pafunda; Winner, Ron McFarland Prize for Poetry – 2010, judge Ilya Kaminsky; Finalist, SLS Unified Literary Contest – 2010, judge Mary Jo Bang; Winner, Avery Hopwood Award for Poetry – 2005, University of Michigan


Personal Favorites

What I'm reading now: 
Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, The Court of No Record by Jenny Molberg, Behind Closed Doors: The Art of Hans Bellmer by Therese Lichtenstein, Sex Depression Animals by Mag Gabbert

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
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Born in: 
Detroit, MI
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Last update: Mar 23, 2023