Kathryn Petruccelli is a bi-coastal poet, teacher and performer with aspirations in radio, obsessions around the meaning of home, and a deep belief in the power of story. She was a finalist for the 2019 Omnidawn Broadside Poetry Prize, and places her work has appeared include New Ohio Review, Rattle, SWWIM, Literary Mama, and Ruminate‘s blog. Her piece “How to Read This Essay” was chosen as a past winner of San Francisco’s Litquake Festival essay contest, and her poem “Little Steps: Workshop Week 10” earned honorable mention for the Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest judged by Marge Piercy. She is currently at work on a poetry series based on the history of the alphabet.
Raised on Long Island, NY and Cape May, New Jersey (Exit 0, thanks for asking), Kathryn moved to the west coast to pursue a Master’s degree at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in 1998. She indeed graduated from the aforementioned school with an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and continued to live on the beautiful central coast of California for 13 years. She admires fireflies and sarcasm a great deal, both of which seem to be in short supply on the west coast and could be why she returned to the east in the summer of 2011.
Kathryn has taught English, writing courses and life skills in the adult school, community college and university systems as well as in Veszprem, Hungary and the Czech countryside. She has taught poetry and performance workshops for California Poets in the Schools, independently and elsewhere. She served as host to the Rubber Chicken Poetry Slam (co-founder), and the Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Tuesday Poetry Readings for several years, and has aired literary interviews for the now-defunct KUSP radio (Santa Cruz, California) and bookotron.com with folks like Isabel Allende, Gish Jen, and Nikki Giovanni. For eight years, she was a regular freelancer covering community events and theatre in the Monterey Herald’s GO! entertainment supplement.
Kathryn’s poetry has consistently planted her squarely between the angst-ridden, chain-smoking spoken word crowd and readings attended by refined people in silk scarves. Her favorite thing, besides writing about herself in the third person, is story and storytelling. Story creates space around which we can reflect on our lives. Delving into conversations about the places the page and the stage interact is one of her very favorite activities. She believes performance is just another avenue for people to center their lives around creating art, which Kathryn feels strongly is pretty much what we’re supposed to do while we’re here. She has been known to burst out sobbing at the sound of a beautiful singing voice.