Amy CatanzanoAmy Catanzano

Assistant Professor in Creative Writing


Co-Director, Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series


Office: C314 Tribble Hall

Amy Catanzano’s work as a poet explores the intersections of art, science, and literature. In spring 2016 she conducted creative and scholarly research at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland with the support of an Archie Fund for the Arts and Humanities grant from Wake Forest University. Following her trip to CERN she was an invited guest at the scientific review of the NEXT experiment in dark matter research at the Canfranc Underground Laboratory in Spain and gave a lecture and poetry reading as part of the Mestizajes Programme in art, science, and literature at the Donostia International Physics Center in San Sebastián. She is the author of two books of poetry and one cross-genre book of fiction and poetry. Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella (Noemi Press, 2014) received the Noemi Press Book Award for Fiction. Multiversal (Fordham University Press, 2009) received the PEN USA Literary Award in Poetry and was selected by Michael Palmer for Fordham University Press’ Poets Out Loud Prize. Her first book of poetry, iEpiphany, was published by Anne Waldman’s independent press, Erudite Fangs Editions, in 2008. Her creative work has appeared widely in literary journals such as Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, and Fence. Her poetry has been anthologized in Naropa University’s commemoration of its 40th anniversary, Hydrogen Jukebox: 40 years of (Dis)Embodied Poetics, in Fence magazine’s A Best of Fence, and elsewhere. In addition to the intersections of art, science, and literature, her creative, scholarly, and teaching interests include poetry and poetics, cross-genre and cross-cultural texts, experimental fiction, ‘pataphysics, and the literary avant-garde. Her speculative essays on quantum poetics appear in Jacket2, Jerome Rothenberg’s Poems and Poetics, and elsewhere. She has an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. An assistant professor of English (Creative Writing, Poetry), the poet-in-residence, and co-director of the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series at Wake Forest, she teaches undergraduate and graduate poetry workshops and served for three years as the director of the Creative Writing Program. Prior to teaching at Wake Forest she taught undergraduate creative-writing workshops as well as graduate and undergraduate literature seminars in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, where she also served as administrative director of the Writing and Poetics Department and managing editor of the literary journal.


MFA Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa

BA Colorado State University

Areas of Interest

Poetry and poetics

Cross-genre and cross-cultural texts

The intersections of literature, art, and science


History of the literary avant-garde

Selected Publications 


Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella (Noemi Press, 2014)

Multiversal (Fordham University Press, 2009)

iEpiphany (Erudite Fangs Editions, 2008)

Chapbooks and pamphlets

Let There Be Love (Spacecraft Press, 2015)

the heartbeat is a fractal (Ahadada Books, 2008)

Literary journals

Individual poems, works of fiction, and cross-genre works are published in numerous print and online literary journals including Aufgabe, Colorado Review, Conjunctions, Web Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, Fence, Interim Magazine, Laurel Review, New American Writing, POETBOOK: An Illuminated Project, Tarpaulin Sky Journal, Truck, Poems and Poetics, Volt: A Journal of the Arts, and Washington Square Review.

On Literature, Art, and Science

2015: Quantum Poetics Commentary Series

This commentary series by Amy Catanzano on “Quantum Poetics” for Jacket2, the University of Pennsylvania’s online journal of modern and contemporary poetry and poetics, presents 17 short essays on the intersections of poetry and science. A reprinting of M. NourbeSe Philip’s “Black W/Holes: A History of Brief Time” and a discussion on poetry and science between Catanzano and Andrew Joron are also presented.

2012: Like A Metaphor: Ongoing Relations Between Poetry and Science

“Like a Metaphor,” Gilbert Adair’s feature in Jacket2 on poetry and science, comes together as a response to a podcast on Louis Zukofsky’s Anew. Collecting poems, critiques, and dialogues between eleven poets who share an interest in science—Rae Armantrout, Amy Catanzano, John Cayley, Tina Darragh, Marcella Durand, Allen Fisher, James Harvey, Peter Middleton, Evelyn Reilly, and Joan Retallack—this feature explores how scientific discourse might be incorporated by poets not simply as a source of metaphor but as an independent discipline.

2009-2011: Quantum Poetics: Writing the Speed of Light

“Quantum Poetics: Writing the Speed of Light” is Amy Catanzano’s four-part essay on quantum poetics published from 2009 to 2011 by Jerome Rothenberg in Poems and Poetics.

Selected Awards and Honors

2016: Archie Fund for the Arts and Humanities grant from Wake Forest University in support of travel to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and related research

2014: Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella is included by Alastair Brotchie in the permanent collection of the ‘Pataphysical Museum at The London Institute of ‘Pataphysics

2012: Noemi Press Book Award in Fiction for Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella

2010: PEN USA Literary Award in Poetry for Multiversal

2007-2008: Fordham University, Poets Out Loud Prize for Multiversal, selected by Michael Palmer

Selected Recent Interviews

 2015: Impossible Poems at Invisible Scales

 2015: Quick Question Commentary Series

 2014: Entropy Magazine

Types of Courses Taught at WFU

CRW 285 Poetry Workshop (undergraduate workshop)

CRW 383/683 Theory and Practice of Poetry Writing (advanced undergraduate and graduate workshop)

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