Robin Caudell


Author's Bio

Born and raised on Maryland's Eastern Shore, Robin Caudell is of Nanticoke and enslaved people of African descent at Wye House, Talbot County. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park and an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. An award-winning journalist and videographer, she has been a Staff Writer at the Press-Republican since 1990.

A poem, Promise Please, was anthologized in Peregrine Volume XXXV: Black Poets Speak by Amherst Writers & Artists Press in 2021. Robin led a poetry workshop, "Creating in the Company of Wild Irises" for the Clemmons Family Farm, Inc. in Charlotte, VT in June 2023. For the second consecutive year, she will lead Adirondack Vagabonding, A Slow Journaling Worship for Xperience for All hosted by the Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake in September 2023.

A poem, Delilah's End-Time Song, is forthcoming in Autumn 2023 in the anthology, The Power of the Feminine 'I' edited by Christal Ann Rice Cooper and Thresh Press Publisher Donna Biffar.

An essay, "The Gift That Calls Us Home," by Rebecca Johns-Hackett and edited by Robin, will appear in the forthcoming essay collection, "We Hold In Our Hands: Black History Artifacts in Baltimore and Beyond," published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2024.

Robin is a Cave Canem alumna and served as an Adirondack Center for Writing instructor at FCI Ray Brook for eight years. She was also a counselor/writer for the summer-writing program of the National Book Foundation at Bennington College for five years. She also participated in the Literacy Volunteers of Clinton County as a writing instructor and an ESL tutor.

A United States Air Force and Cold War Veteran, she served from 1986-1990 and rose to the rank of Sgt. and was the 1989 John L. Levitow Honor Graduate from NCO Leadership School. Robin is a founding member of the Plattsburgh Air Force Base Museum and was the recipient of the 2022 Clinton County Women of Distinction, Military Service Award presented by NYS Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay).

An avid genealogist and a vetted Underground Railroad researcher/presenter for more than 20 years, she is a National Association for Interpretation Certified Tour Guide and a Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway Certified Tour Guide. She is also a Founding Board Trustee and a Docent/Event Planner/Grant Writer for the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association/North Star Museum at Ausable Chasm, Essex County, NY.

Publications & Prizes

Peregrine Volume XXXV: Black Poets Speak (AWA Press, 2021)
Temba Tupu! (Walking Naked) African Women's Poetic Self-Image (Africa World Press, 2008)
The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (University of Georgia Press, 2007)
Pembroke Magazine
Studies in American Indian Literatures
Prizes won: 

Syracuse University Press is thrilled to announce Black Heel Strings: A Choptank Memoir by Robin Michel Caudell is the 2023 Veterans Writing Award winner.  Veterans Writing Award judge Anuradha Bhagwati praised Caudell’s work, noting “The author’s gifts recall Toni Morrison. Sentence after sentence reads like poetry. The earth and sea come alive through her words, as though the author’s language gave birth to the natural world itself. Simply stunning.”

Syracuse University Press, in cooperation with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), established the Veterans Writing Award in 2019. The mission of the award is to recognize the contributions of veterans to the literary arts, shine a light on the multivalent veteran experience, and provide a platform for unrecognized military writers.

The previously unpublished haibun was a 2020 Louise Meriwether First Book Prize Second-Round Finalist, a 2019 Pleiades Press Editors Prize Semifinalist, and garnered several awards including a 2008 Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Foundation Scholarship to the Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, MA and a 2002 Bread Loaf Tuition Scholarship at Middlebury College, where she participated in a nonfiction workshop led by author Terry Tempest Williams. The maunscript also was a 1999 Honorable Mention in The Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Competition.


Journalist Association of New York, Arts/Entertainment Reporting, 2nd Place, 2021, New York Press Association Better Newspaper Contest, Best Coverage of the Arts, 2nd Place, 2021, New York Publishers Association Awards, Distinguished Beat Reporting (Faith), 2021; New York News Publishers Association Awards, Distinguished Feature Writing, 2020; New York News Publishers Association, Distinguished Feature Writing, 2019; New York News Publishers Association Awards for Excellence, Distinguished Feature Writing, 2019; New York State Associated Press Association, 2nd Place Arts/Entertainment Reporting, “Gibson Brothers,” 2018.


Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, Zora Neale Hurston, Sarah E. Wright, Waters Turpin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Cade Bambara, Ai, Lucille Clifton, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, Maya Angelou, Maurice Kenny, Joy Harjo, Suzanne S. Rancourt, Rita Dove, Jeffery Renard Allen, Alex Jacobs, Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, Gilbert Byron and James Michener.
What I'm reading now: 
The Paris Review 243 by The Paris Review Foundation, Shoremen: An Anthology of Eastern Shore Prose and Verse by Tidewater Publications, Northeastern Indian Lives 1632-1816 by Robert S. Grumet, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez, Maryland in Black and White: Documentary Photography from the Great Depression and World War II by Constance B. Schulz, Audre at Home by Lucca Dotti.

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
African American, Native American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Easton, MD
Raised in: 
Preston, MD
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Nov 16, 2023