About Catherine Staples

cover photoCatherine Staples grew up in Dover Massachusetts and still spends part of each summer on Cape Cod. Her poems and reviews have appeared in Poetry, Kenyon Review, Blackbird, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, The Massachusetts Review, Commonweal, Third Coast, The Gettysburg Review, The Cincinnati Review, and Rattle among other journals. Honors include a Dakin Fellowship from Sewanee Writer’s Conference, the New England Poetry Club’s Daniel Varjouan Award, and Southern Poetry Review’s Guy Owen Prize. She teaches in the Honors and English programs at Villanova University and lives in Devon, Pennsylvania.

Praise for The Rattling Window, winner of the McGovern Prize:


The poems in The Rattling Window reveal an imagination caught up in the wondrous ordinariness of simply being, knowing how complicated in fact such simplicity is. Staples manages this magic by the quality of her attention, the articulate, luminous sympathy she brings to whatever her eye takes in. Whether it is a seashore, a field in winter, the “whiplong honeycomb casing of a snake,” or the astonishing, unforgettable thereness of a horse, it’s all illuminated by this poet’s “bright lines of light.” She speaks of “unearthly singing, just the wind in the ear of a whelk.” Of such singing–bringing the ordinary and the amazing into illuminating alignment–are these poems made.          Eamon Grennan

Praise for Never a Note Forfeit, winner of the Keystone Chapbook Prize:

angel-cover-final1.2There is an elegance of rhythm, astute observation of the natural world, a grace of metaphor in which landscape is transformed into emotional geography. The speaker’s concerns are both real and directed away from the self into a relationship with an “other.” The narrative is never overbearing, but rather allowed to emerge and recede through the series. While a loved one’s life is at stake, that emotional drama is played out in tension with the beauty and ephemeral nature of landscape and in such a manner that embrace and connection are the ultimate concerns.                                                                              Betsy Sholl