Kerry Carnahan is a writer, environmentalist, and the author of the poetry chapbook The Experience of Being a Cathedral (Lettuce Run, 2021). Her poems and essays can be found in Boston Review, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, FIVES: a Companion to Denver Quarterly, and WARSCAPES. 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 2004-2014 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 as well as a PhD at the University of Connecticut, where she taught composition and creative writing. Her areas of interest are 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 was a Dissertation Fellow at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute where she worked on a translation of the Song of Songs. Other institutions that have supported her include the Fulbright Foundation and MacDowell. Currently she is a full-time lecturer at the University of New Haven.