Katy Didden

Katy Didden’s first book, The Glacier’s Wake, won the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize from Pleiades Press.

The poems in The Glacier’s Wake invoke the large-scale tectonics of the natural world (craters, volcanoes, glaciers, and waterfalls).  In many poems, the speakers are preoccupied with contemporary environmentalism, and often confront the contrary impulses of consumerism and conservation.

In her new manuscript-in-progress, “The Lava on Iceland,” she adopts lava as a persona, erasing a series of texts about Iceland (an Icelandic Edda, a survey of volcanism, interviews with Bjork) into lyric poems. To create the look of lava, she collaborates with graphic designer Kevin Tseng, who layers the erasures over photographs they solicit from friends and fellow Icelandophiles.

Katy’s poems and reviews appear in journals such as Poetry Northwest, Ecotone, Bat City ReviewThe Kenyon Review, Image, The Missouri Review, Smartish Pace, 32 Poems, The Spoon River Poetry Review, The Sewanee Review, and Poetry. Her work has been featured on Verse Daily and Poetry Daily. She has received scholarships and residencies from The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, the Hambidge Center, and the MacDowell Colony.

After earning her PhD at the University of Missouri, she held a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University (2013–2014), and taught as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the MFA Program at the University of Oregon.  She is currently an Assistant Professor at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

The books mentioned in the interview are: Carl Phillips, Wild is the Wind; Tomy Pico, Nature Poem; Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass.

I. Photo: “Iceland.” Maureen Horgan. 2014. II. Primary Text: Berwick, Isabel. “Beyond the Wall in Iceland’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Locations.” The Financial Times. February 14, 2014. III. Text and Photo Layout: Kevin Tseng IV. Erasure/ Exposure poem: Katy Didden. Originally published in The Kenyon Review, Vol XXXIX, May/ June 2017.
I. Photo: “Iceland.” Jennifer Leung. 2004. II. Primary Text: Halfdanarson, Gudmundur. Historical Dictionary of Iceland. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2008. III. Text and Photo Layout: Kevin Tseng IV. Erasure/ Exposure poem: Katy Didden. Orginally published in The Kenyon Review, Vol XXXIX, May/ June 2017.
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