Caitlin Cowan


Muskegon, MI

Author's Bio

Born and raised in the Midwest, Caitlin Cowan’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, THRUSH Poetry Journal, New Ohio Review, Pleiades, SmokeLong Quarterly, Rappahannock Review, and elsewhere. A finalist for the Levis Prize in Poetry and a semifinalist for the Boston Discovery Poetry Contest, she has won the Littoral Press Poetry Prize, the Mississippi Review Prize, and an Avery Hopwood Award. Ilya Kaminsky also selected her poem, “Flight Plan,” to win the Ron McFarland Prize for Poetry. 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 works, travels, and teaches for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan. Find her at

Publications & Prizes

New Poetry from the Midwest (New American Press, 2019)
Journals: ,
Bad Pony
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Catch Up
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Denver Quarterly
Fawlt Magazine
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Kaleidoscope Review
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Mississippi Review
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Nightjar Review
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Public Pool
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ROAR Magazine
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Tinderbox Poetry Journal
Up North Lit
Prizes won: 

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; Nominee, Denton Arts and Music (DAM) Award (Published Author) – 2018 & 2019; 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: 
Four-Legged Girl by Diane Seuss, How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Detroit, MI
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Last update: Jul 30, 2020