Associate Professor of English in Creative Writing
Co-Director, Writers Reading Series
Reynolds Research Leave, 2020-2021
MFA Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa
Amy Catanzano is a poet and transmedia artist originally from Boulder, Colorado. As part of her work exploring the intersections of literature, science, and the arts, she conducts site visits to scientific research centers such as CERN in Switzerland and the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. In addition to her poems in literary journals such as Conjunctions and La Vague, her essays in poetic theory in publications such as Poems and Poetics and Nodes: Entangling Humanities and Science, and internationally exhibited digital poetry, she is the author of three books, two of which have received national recognition in the United States with major literary awards. These include Multiversal, published by Fordham University Press and recipient of the PEN USA Literary Award in Poetry, and Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella, recipient of the Noemi Press Book Award in Fiction. Her transdisciplinary poem, World Lines, based on a model of a topological quantum computer, was published by the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University and has been featured in particle physics magazines such as Physics and Symmetry. 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 the University of Iowa.
Areas of Focus
Poetry, poetics, and literary theory
Experimental fiction, literary nonfiction, and cross-genre writing
The intersections of poetry, science, and the arts
High-energy particle physics, astrophysics, quantum theory, quantum computing, beyond Standard Model phenomenology (supersymmetry, superstring theory), dark energy, neutrino research
Literary and artistic subcultures of the avant garde
Selected Publications and Literary Awards
World Lines: A Quantum Supercomputer Poem. Long Island: Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, Stony Brook University, 2018.
Wavicles: A Digital Poem. Amsterdam/Oslo: 3D Poetry Editor Exhibition, The Gravity of Words, 2017.
Multiversal. New York City: Fordham University Press, 2009. Recipient, PEN USA Literary Award in Poetry. Recipient, Poets Out Loud Prize from Fordham University Press.
iEpiphany. New York City/Boulder: Erudite Fangs Editions, 2008.
Catanzano’s poetry, fiction, intergenre writing, and essays in poetic theory have appeared in the following literary and academic journals, publications, and anthologies: Poems and Poetics, Jacket2, La Vague, Supplement, Perfect Wave, Aufgabe, Colorado Review, Conjunctions, Web Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, Fence Magazine, Interim Magazine, Laurel Review, New American Writing, Poetbook: An Illuminated Project, Tarpaulin Sky Journal, Volt: A Journal of the Arts, #Nodes: Entangling Science and Humanities, The Best of Fence Magazine, Hydrogen Jukebox: 40 Years of (Dis)embodied Poetics at Naropa University, and others.
Selected Interviews, Articles, Reviews, Performances, and Projects
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
Wake Forest University Awards, Grants, and Honors
Recipient, Reynolds Research Leave, in support of research and creative projects, 2020-2021.
Recipient, Reynolda Conference Grant, Humanities Institute and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 2018.
Recipient, W.C. Archie Endowed Fund for Faculty Excellence award in support of research on the Dark Energy Survey and travel to the Cerro-Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, 2018.
Recipient, Summer Research Award, in support of a book manuscript on poetry and science, 2018.
Recipient, Dunn-Riley Faculty Development Award in support of travel to the Society for Literature, the Sciences, and the Arts, Toronto, 2018.
Recipient, W.C. Archie Endowed Fund for Faculty Excellence award in support of research at CERN in Switzerland, 2016.
Teaching at Wake Forest University and Beyond
Amy Catanzano is an associate professor of English and the poet-in-residence at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. She also has taught at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Colorado, Chatham University in Pennsylvania, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Iowa.
Her teaching portfolio includes a range of undergraduate and graduate MA and MFA courses in creative writing and literature that focus on writing and reading poetry, innovative fiction and literary nonfiction, intergenre and interdisciplinary literary texts, intercultural literary texts, poetics, and literary theory. As guest faculty for the Weatherspoon Art Museum, the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and Naropa’s Extended Studies Program and Summer Writing Program, she has taught concentrated courses in transdisciplinary artistic practice, science and poetry, investigative poetics, quantum poetics, constructed and imaginary languages, and more.
At Wake Forest, she teaches an undergraduate beginning-intermediate poetry workshop and an advanced undergraduate-graduate workshop in poetry and poetics. At Naropa, she designed and taught creative writing and literature courses such as Women Writers/Open Texts, 19th Century U.S. Literature, and Special Topics: The Imaginary Present. Other teaching has included individualized thesis courses, independent studies, introductory courses in literature, and academic essay writing. She has directed and advised numerous student theses in poetry, fiction, cross-genre writing, and texts combining creative writing and academic scholarship.
In her creative writing classes, Catanzano gives students practical grounding as well as an exploratory space to experiment with a range of approaches to literary writing. Areas of focus include writing and reading investigative poetry, digital poetry and electronic literature, transmedia and multimodal texts, traditional and metered forms, Oulipo, language writing, conceptual writing, political and activist writing, neo-surrealism, quantum poetics, contemplative poetics, performance poetry, ecopoetics, aleatoric writing, visual poetry, sound poetry, transdisciplinary writing, ekphrasis, recombinant essays, experimental fiction, and cross-genre inventions.
She emphasizes attentiveness to the textures of language, literary theory, and the multiplicity of literary forms and frameworks available to writers. Through focused and investigative discussions of student literary writing in a workshop format, written feedback, a diverse range of assigned reading material, experiential writing exercises, thought experiments, and attendance to literary readings with visiting authors, students develop as creative writers and creative readers while reflecting on the aesthetic, philosophical, theoretical, personal, political, and cultural implications of working with language in an artistic practice.
Students in her classes have gone on to 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 as well as careers and artistic livelihoods in writing, teaching, art making, publishing, and more.