Standard bio: Katherine Riegel is the author of two books of poetry: What the Mouth Was Made For and Castaway. Her book of short essays/prose poems/whatever they are, Letters to Colin Firth, won the 2015 Sundress Publications Chapbook Competition. She’s also the author of two books on meditation and a larger life: There’s No Wrong Way: 44 Meditations, and The Manifesto. Katie received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught writing at various places, most recently the University of South Florida. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Brevity, Mead, The Offing, Orion, and The Rumpus. She is co-founder and poetry editor for Sweet: A Literary Confection.
More than that:
Katherine Riegel goes by Katie to most people, and wishes she’d had the sense to begin publishing under that name. Unfortunately, her first poems were published when when she was in college, and she thought real writers always used their formal names. So she waffles between names, and hopes you’ll call her whichever one you want—or just “Riegel” (pronounced “regal”), as her students often did.
Katie grew up in the tiny town of White Heath, Illinois, on a Morgan horse farm. When she was 10, her family sold the farm and moved into the metropolis of Champaign, Illinois, and she never quite got over the loss of all that space. Luckily her sister founded a therapeutic riding center in central Illinois called Healing Horse Stables (also on Facebook) that Katie gets to visit regularly.
Always interested in the inner life, Katie dropped out of law school years ago to be a poet. Now she practices meditation and writes about the mindful life, believing that no matter what you do for a living, a rich inner life is necessary for peace, fulfillment, and self-empowerment.
After 20+ years teaching at colleges and universities, as of August 2015, Katie decided to leave academia for a time. She got married and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where she writes, teaches, edits, and serves as a mentor/life coach. She’s particularly excited about her involvement with The Gloria Sirens, a blog by a collective of women writers that has over 50,000 followers (woot!) which is just branching out as a press and who knows what next.