I'm Colby Cedar Smith. I am a poet, author, and teaching artist.
I grew up in the Midwest, but now I live in New Jersey with my husband, two kids, and a winter wolf named Poppy. (Full disclosure...she's part chihuahua.)
One of my favorite things about being a writer is that I get to share my love for poetry and the written word with others. I teach young children, teens, university students, and adults, and I also facilitate leadership and communications courses for large and small businesses.
I have a BA in Creative Writing from Colorado College and an EdM in Arts in Education from Harvard University. Because of my background in the arts, I often use visual art, music, and nature exploration in my workshops.
Whatever the setting, I love helping my students to explore the wonders of language. I believe that artistic communities increase empathy, trust, imagination, cross-cultural understanding, and emotional awareness.
Photo credits: Helen Corveleyn, Wendy Heiser, Melissa Kuscin
Here's my official bio:
Colby Cedar Smith is an award-winning poet, novelist, and educator. Colby has spent the last twenty years teaching creative writing and storytelling workshops in elementary and secondary schools, art museums, nature centers, community centers, and corporations. Her poetry has been been published in numerous review and magazines, and has been a finalist for over twenty poetry prizes including The Iowa Review Poetry Award, the New Letters Poetry Prize, the Colorado Prize for Poetry; and a semi-finalist for the 92Y “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize. In 2020, Colby received a New Jersey Council on the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. Colby's debut novel in verse, Call Me Athena: Girl from Detroit (2021) has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild Gold Selection Standard Selection; an American Booksellers Association Kids’ Indie Next Pick; a Cybils Award Poetry Finalist; a 2021 Goodreads Choice Best Poetry Nominee, A Kid's Book Choice Finalist for Stellar Storytelling; a 2022 Independent Publisher Book Awards Silver medal for YA Fiction; a 2022 Silver Nautilus Award for Lyric Prose; a 2021 Michigan notable book; and the winner of the Midwest Book Award for YA Fiction. She holds a B.A. in creative writing from Colorado College, and an Ed.M in arts in education from Harvard University. You can connect with her on Twitter @ColbyCedar, or Instagram @Colby_Cedar_Smith.