is Virginia's current Poet Laureate. She is also a painter, sculptor and
educator. She holds two masters degrees and a Ph.D. from George Mason
University, where she received the first doctorate presented by the school.
She has published
four books of poetry, Contrary Visions, Gathering Light,
Death Comes Riding, Greatest Hits, and is the co-editor of the
anthologies, In a Certain Place and Four Virginia Poets Laureate.
In 1992, for her
contributions to American Literature, Governor Douglas L. Wilder named
Carolyn a Virginia Cultural Laureate and on June 2006, Governor Timothy M.
Kaine named her Poet Laureate of Virginia. As evidenced below, her work has
earned widespread recognition across the Commonwealth and beyond:
three Artist-in-Education grants from the Virginia
Commission for the Arts
an Arts-on-the Road grant from the Virginia Commission
for the Arts
three Pushcart Prize nominations
an Edgar Allan Poe First Place poetry award
First Place poetry
award, Art & Writing Collaborative, Chesapeake Bay Branch of the
National League of American Pen Women
the Fairfax County Public Schools’ Hodgson Award in
a VERA Award for her doctoral dissertation
an Outstanding Scholarship and Service award from
George Mason University.
Her poems and writings
appear widely in such magazines, journals, and anthologies as Nimrod
International Journal, The Ledge, Anthology of Magazine Verse
& Yearbook of American Poetry, Blood to Remember: American Poets on
the Holocaust, Hispanic Culture Review, Poet Lore,
Mid-American Review, Antioch Review, The Journal of Teaching
Writing and The Writing Center Journal.
Her paintings have been
exhibited throughout Virginia in schools, libraries, nursing and retirement
homes, universities, and at public and private art galleries. Reproductions
of her paintings and sculpture appear on the covers and pages of her books.
Currently, she lives in
Hardyville, Virginia, with her husband, Patricio.
Photo courtesy of
Jeffrey W. Allison