Catherine Pierce is the author of four books of poems: Danger Days (Saturnalia 2020); The Tornado Is the World (Saturnalia 2016), The Girls of Peculiar (Saturnalia 2012), and Famous Last Words (Saturnalia 2008), winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. Both The Tornado Is the World and The Girls of Peculiar won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Prize. A chapbook, Animals of Habit (Kent State University Press), was published in 2004.
Pierce’s poems have been published in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Nation, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, New England Review, FIELD, Pleiades, Gettysburg Review, Crazyhorse, and the 2019 and 2021 Pushcart Prize anthologies. Her essays appear in The New York Times, The Rumpus, The Millions, Cincinnati Review, and River Teeth. In 2019, she was named a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow.
Originally from Delaware, Pierce earned her B.A. from Susquehanna University, her M.F.A. from the Ohio State University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. She now lives in Starkville, Mississippi, where she is professor of English and co-director of the creative writing program at Mississippi State University.
(photo by Megan Bean / Mississippi State University)