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 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, Crazyhorse, Mead, The Offing, 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 like “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.
Having dropped out of law school to be a poet, Katie has always cared about the inner life. Now she’s especially interested in mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhist and Yogic thought, and has published a book of suggestions for a freer life, called The Manifesto. She’s also started a community for people interested in meditation, mindfulness, and mental health, called Inner Weather—please join and share your thoughts and experiences!
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 and does a lot of other things. 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!) and big plans for more projects and content types.