Associate Professor of English in Creative Writing | Poet-in-Residence | Co-Director, Creative Writing Program & Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series


Areas of Emphasis

  • Poetry, poetics, and experimental creative practice
  • Transmedia, interdisciplinary, and multimodal literary art 
  • Intersections of poetry, science, and the arts
  • Literary and artistic subcultures of the avant-garde

Recipient of the PEN USA Literary Award in Poetry and the Noemi Press Book Award in Fiction, Amy Catanzano publishes poetry and fiction, nonfiction prose, intergenre poetic theory, and multimodal literary art, including web-expanded literature. Writing in parallel to cutting-edge physics as well as the literary and artistic subcultures of the avant-garde, she forges innovative connections between literature, science, and the arts. 

Drawing from invited residencies and site visits to scientific research centers such as CERN, and as the lead co-founder of The Entanglements Network—an international collective of transdisciplinary writers, scientists, artists, and scholars—Catanzano collaborates with scientists in addition to her independent projects. An associate professor of English and the poet-in-residence at Wake Forest University, she has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. At Wake Forest, Catanzano serves as the co-director of the Creative Writing Minor, the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series, and the student reading series. Prior to Wake Forest, she taught in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, co-founded by poets Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, and Diane di Prima at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, and elsewhere.

Catanzano received the PEN USA Literary Award in Poetry for her second collection of poems, Multiversal, published by Fordham University Press as the recipient of the Poets Out Loud Prize, selected by Michael Palmer. Her first book of poetry, iEpiphany, was published by the independent press of Anne Waldman. Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella, combining fiction with poetry, was published as the recipient of the Noemi Press Book Award in Fiction. A book collaboration with artist Eric William Carroll, A Light Year of Leadfeatures a suite of her poems in response to Carroll’s studio art and photographs of scientific experiments.

Since 2016, Catanzano’s projects involving science have focused on particle physics, astrophysics, and quantum computing. Catanzano’s World Lines: A Quantum Supercomputer Poem, which uses a theoretical model of a topological quantum computer as a new poetic form, was published by the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University in Phase 1 of the project. World Lines has been featured in the American Physical Society’s APS Physics, Stanford University and Fermilab’s Symmetry Magazine: Dimensions of Particle Physics, and elsewhere. Her digital poem, Wavicles was exhibited at the Rotterdam International Poetry Festival and the Oslo Festival of Visual and Digital Poetry in the group show, The Gravity of Words. Her work in poetic theory and the philosophy of science appears internationally in the journals Crisis and Critique and CounterText: A Journal for the Study of the Post-Literary as well as in U.S. venues such as Jerome Rothenberg’s Poems and Poetics and Jacket2, the University of Pennsylvania’s online journal of modern and contemporary poetry and poetics.

Catanzano’s creative work is published widely in literary journals such as Conjunctions and New American Writing. Anthologies and book collections featuring her work include The Dark Energy Survey: The Story of a Cosmological Experiment, published by World Scientific; #Nodes: Entangling Science and Humanities, with editions in Spanish and English; Naropa University’s Hydrogen Jukebox: 40 Years of (Dis)embodied Poetics; and A Best of Fence Magazine. At the invitation of APS Physics, Catanzano contributed a poem, “Higgs Boson: The Cosmic Glyph,” for a portfolio of responses to the 10th anniversary of the particle’s discovery at CERN. They later featured her op-ed, “Poetry and Physics in Radical Collaboration.” The subject of critical study by scholars, Catanzano’s work is taught in literature, writing, and physics courses in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Australia, and elsewhere.


Other Publications

Amy Catanzano’s creative work and poetic theory appear in the following anthologies and literary/academic journals, among others:

American Letters and CommentaryPoems and PoeticsJacket2, La VaguePerfect WaveAufgabe, CounterText: A Journal of the Study of the Post-Literary, Colorado Review, Conjunctions, Crisis and Critique, The Dark Energy Survey: The Story of A Cosmological Experiment, Denver Quarterly, Fence Magazine, Interim, Laurel Review, New American Writing, Poetbook: An Illuminated Project, Tarpaulin Sky Journal, Volt: A Journal of the Arts, #Nodes: Entangling Science and HumanitiesBest of Fence Magazine, Hydrogen Jukebox: 40 Years of (Dis)embodied Poetics at Naropa University

Selected Interviews, Podcasts, and Features

  • Article: “The quantum poet,” Symmetry Magazine
  • Interview: “Quantum understanding in the works of Amy Catanzano,” SciArt Magazine
  • Podcast: “The Poetry of the Dark Energy Survey,” 365 Days of Astronomy
  • Article: “Poetry takes on quantum physics,” Physics
  • Article: “Artist explains quantum physics through poetry,” The Next Web
  • Performance (collaboration): “At the Edge of the Abyss: A Danced Poem” at Entanglements
  • Interview: “Impossible poems at invisible scales,” Jacket2
  • Review: “Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella,” Rain Taxi
  • Feature: “Commentary Series in Quantum Poetics,” Jacket2 

Teaching at Wake Forest and Beyond

Amy Catanzano is an associate professor of English and the poet-in-residence at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Prior to Wake Forest, she taught at Naropa University in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Iowa. She has been a guest faculty member at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, the Naropa Summer Writing Program, and the North Carolina Writers’ Network. She has taught a range of courses in creative writing, literature, poetics, and experimental artistic practice. At Wake Forest, she teaches creative writing workshops for the graduate MA Literary Studies Program and undergraduate Creative Writing Minor. Working from innovative frameworks in quantum poetics, her pedagogy engages investigative poetry, reality and imagination studies, transmedia poetry, science and poetry, language poetry, conceptual writing, political and activist writing, collaboration, performance, mythopoetics, aleatoric process, visual poetry, sound poetry, and more. Through experimental writing exercises, discussions of student writing, innovative reading and viewing materials, and attendance to events with visiting authors, students develop as writers and readers while examining the aesthetic, theoretical, material, transpersonal, and cultural implications of working with language in an artistic practice. She has mentored students who have gone on to livelihoods in writing, teaching, art making, publishing, and more as well as MFA and PhD programs at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Denver, Brooklyn College, University of Notre Dame, Pratt Institute, the European Graduate School, and elsewhere.