This is the website of Katherine Soniat; poet, professor, and editor. She teaches in the University of North Carolina at Asheville's Great Smokies Writers Program and currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
Her latest collection Bright Stranger published by Louisiana State University Press Poetry Series is recently out (2016). A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge from Dream Horse Press (2012) was the runner-up for The Orphic Prize and The Swing Girl from Louisiana State University Press (2011) won the Oscar Arnold Young Award for 2011. A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge was selected as Honorable Mention for the Brockman-Campbell Poetry Award given by the North Carolina Poetry Society. Chard diNiord was the judge - "The poems in Katherine Soniat's new book of poems, A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge, reverberate with personal and global threnodies, apocalyptic alarms, romantic philippics, and marital myths, all of which, like "the dust and air" Cassandra is given to see through, Soniat also divines with stunning verbal velocity."  ... read more (PDF)

From CONNOTATIONS PRESS, NEW POEMS AND INTERVIEW on Soniat's newly manuscript:
THE SECRET WHERE. Read article.

Soniat's latest work (2016)!

Bright Stranger
Bright Stranger

Kevin McILvoy - Author
"Katherine Soniat's brilliant body of work has clearly built toward Bright Stranger, a large scale accomplished book of great rarity. In every surprising section, you feel you are reading a singularly expansive whole vision of the most intimate processes of transmutation. The poems confront the awakening moments that dare a solitary person to acknowledge the mysteries of fruitful and failed connection; they offer no hiding-from and no summing-up and no retreating into mere regret.  After many re-readings, I cannot leave the amazing experience of Bright Stranger. I have read no single book of contemporary poems I admire more."

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Praise for Bright Stranger

"Shield your eyes as you read Katherine Soniat's Bright Stranger. The light often blinds in these mysterious, incantatory poems. It nearly keens, if shimmer can be said to have sound.

Soniat has discovered a way to account for everything and, in so doing, wrought a language that lusciously abides in her venerated natural world, but also explores like a medium the barely apprehended liminal ether that surrounds it. Indeed, she traipses like Eurydice (a haunting presence throughout this volume) with equal grace and bravado between realms, reconciling the earth upon which we walk with the fading apparitions of the past "the old decline of flesh that shifts / to language."

These poems thrum with exquisite voltage."

-- Joseph Bathanti, previous Poet Laureate of North Carolina


"In Katherine Soniat's gorgeous new collection, Bright Stranger, the story of Orpheus and his lost love Eurydice threads its golden weave through strata of dream, myth, and math to create shimmering layers of language and logic. 

The auras of summer grasses form "plump geometries" of light...Euclid's "constellations of lines, rays, and segments" represent "Certainties only the mind concocts."  In poems of exquisite detail, a speaker--daughter, wife, mother, traveler--journeys through the "Clips of a life" knowing this inexorable fact, that "we'll not pass this way again."  

Bright Stranger is stunning poetry."

-- Cynthia Hogue, author of Revenance

"Katherine Soniat's Bright Stranger revitalizes nature's panorama in all its wondrous, dirt-streaked glory.  In Soniat's world, wolves and condors can taste our blood, and we can feel the furred heat of being human isolated, vulnerable, astonished.

Dazzling and surreal sequences burst forth from caves and canyon walls...Magical, god-like coyotes, foxes, and owls fill these brilliantly vivid, evocative poems in which "the human figure looks pointless." Soniat rips open the lyric poem, as the singular "I" is displaced by the landscape. Confronted by the marvelous and bewildering animal kingdom, this speaker sheds "the human tongue."

Bright Stranger is exciting, troubling--visceral to the bone."   

-- Hadara Bar-Nadav, author of Lullaby (with Exit Sign)   

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