Kerry Carnahan’s poems and essays can be found in Boston Review, The Missouri Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Barrow Street, WARSCAPES, and are forthcoming in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day and Whale Road Review. She is an editor at New Poetry in Translation and in 2017 she was named a runner-up in the 92Y ‘Discovery’/Boston Review poetry contest by poets Henri Cole, Douglas Kearney, and Monica Youn. She was born and raised in Kansas.
Trained as a visual artist and civil engineer at the formerly tuition-free Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, from 2004-2013 she worked as an environmentalist and civil servant for the City of New York. Courtesy of her public employee union’s tuition reimbursement fund, she began taking poetry workshops and completed an MFA at CUNY-Hunter College in 2009. Currently she pursues doctoral work in English at the University of Connecticut, where she teaches composition, creative writing, and literature. Her doctoral work specializes in poetry and poetics, focusing on dynamics of gender, sexuality, race, class, and empire. She also studies religion and the Hebrew Bible.
In 2019 she was a Teaching Institute Summer Fellow at the Modern Language Association and in 2020-2021 she is a Dissertation Fellow at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute where she is working on a translation of the biblical Song of Songs with commentary. Other institutions that have supported her include the Fulbright Foundation and The MacDowell Colony.