Catherine Rickbone has taught poetry and creative writing at the high school level, uniting the visual arts and poetry; American Literature and speech at the community college level, and composition at the university level. She is currently the executive director of the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts.
She is part of the Oregon Poetic Voices (oregonpoeticvoices.org) archive hosted by Lewis and Clark College. On the website you can hear her read her poetry. For five years, she was poetry co-editor of Veterans Voices, a national project publication of the Hospitalized Veterans Writing Project.
Her first chapbook of poems, Labyrinth Dance, was published by Dancing Moon Press. Her latest book of poems is entitled What She Knows, also published by Dancing Moon Press.
She has written and printed hundreds of nonfiction articles in local, regional, national and international publications for the Country Club Plaza Merchants Association, Emporia Arts Council, Grants Pass Museum of Art, and Oregon Coast Council for the Arts.
She has been an assistant editor for the American Association of University Professors, and contributing editor for Hallmark Cards publications. Her poetry as appeared in The Echo, Quivira Literary Magazine, newsletters and informal papers.
Testimonials about What She Knows
In What She Knows, Catherine Rickbone collects five sections of poems that chronicle a “…family tree of regrets and/ recriminations.” Although they recount difficult, daunting experiences, Rickbone’s poems call on wisdom and wit to offer readers their “…moments of salvation.”
Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita
In this rich collection of poems, both narrative and lyrical, Catherine Rickbone asks whether and how the measure of our days measures us. She clocks the hours of lives spent in the quotidian details of needlework, Weight Watchers points, fortune cookie messages, and appointments blocked on weekly calendars, mindful that ever patiently waiting for each of us, there is ultimately “no appointment but one.”
In intricacies and intimacies, these poems capture knife-edge moments of transformation and fierce determinism, what we stitch together, what we unravel, and “how our fingers travel the hem of hope.” The dreamscape of Rickbone’s memory is a world in which “Christ knocks on a door that never opens,” a landscape of losses and aggressions minute and insurmountable, within which we find the great gift to survive and transcend what breaks us, repeating, “I think I can, I think I can.” These poems offer us what Rickbone knows: her moments of salvation, which are our own.
Web Author of Save Your Own Life: Kansas Stories
Catherine Rickbone’s first full-length collection, What She Knows, reveals a poet of self-awareness and, as the title suggests, great knowing. Offering keen observations from the “late middle years” she reaches back to recall vinyl records, cameras with film, sensual trysts, broken couplings, and the press of aging parents. In this poetic examination, Rickbone reveals her greatest truth: She knows the grace of now.
- Drew Myron
author of Thin Skin: Poems