Faculty A-Z

  • Profile:

    Caits Meissner is a poly-creative poet, artist and transformative facilitator known for her vibrant spirit and dynamic ability to pull creative juice from the accomplished artist to the everyman. Invested in the rehabilitative capacity of art, Caits emphasizes guided vulnerability and ethical community engagement in her teaching and consulting practices. Through writing Caits seeks to complicate our ideas about humanity, stepping beyond binaries of good/bad and right/wrong, grappling with the gray area of a troubled world.

    Caits' poetry has been awarded first place prizes from the Pan-African Literary Forum, the Ja-Nai Foundation and City College's The Jerome Lowell DeJur Prize in Creative Writing for a significant manuscript in poetry. Her poems have been published in various journals and anthologies including The Offing, Drunken Boat, Radius, The Feminist Wire, Duende, Amazon.com's Day One and The Literary Review, and her poetry/music album, the wolf & me, was released in 2010 to online acclaim on platforms such as Okayplayer. In 2012, The Letter All Your Friends Have Written You, Caits’ limited edition collaborative poetry chapbook with poet Tishon, arrived on the Well&Often imprint. Caits is a Founding Editor of The Wide Shore: A Global Journal of Women’s Poetry, and served as Education Editor of Well&Often literary magazine. 

    For over ten years, Caits has extensively facilitated youth and adults in poetry and multi-media expression in prisons, schools, needle exchanges and community centers, and has worked long-term instituting innovative arts education programming at cultural hubs such as Tribeca Film Institute, Urban Arts Partnership, The Facing History School and the Lower Eastside Girls Club. Caits developed the #GrowFierce community, centered around Digging Deep, Facing Self – an open access 30 day intensive writing course designed to uplift, heal & transform women into their boldest selves. Before opening the curriculum, Caits served over 300 women worldwide in a guided online engagement and has facilitated the powerful curriculum in live spaces to reach women in need, including incarcerated women, adolescents and on tour in Malaysia, sponsored by the US Embassy. CURRENTLY. Caits serves as Writer-In-Residence at the Bronx Academy of Letters, a rehabilitative creative writing facilitator in a women’s prison, and as a Part-time Lecturer at The New School University.

    Degrees Held:

    BFA, Communication Design, Pratt Institute (2006)
    MFA, Creative Writing, City College of New York (In-Progress)

    Recent Publications:

    The Letter All Your Friends Have Written You (2012)
    Limited Edition Poetry Chapbook Co-Authored with Tishon, Well&Often Press

    The Wolf & Me (2010)
    Spoken Word & Music Album A multi-platform music project released May 1, 2010.

    Online Journals

    Three Poems - Duende (2015)
    M A N I F E S TO for my homegirls - FemLit (2015)
    Praise Poem - Amazon.com's Day One (2015)
    Three Poems - Ty(poetic)us, (2015)
    Two Poems - Drunken Boat, Union Folio (2015)
    Three Micro Poems - The Offing (2015)
    Little Pleasure - The Quotable (2015)
    There Are So Many Poems For Black Boys In America - Radius Lit (2014)
    The Muse - Kenning Journal (2014)
    Two Poems - He(Art) Journal (2014)
    All The Ways To Sing In Portuguese - The Feminist Wire (2014)
    Two Poems - The Feminist Wire (2013)
    The Advice (& essay on Yona Harvey) - The Operating System (2012)
    Kissing (Audio) - Litro Lit Mag Literary Mixtape (2012)
    Two Poems (Audio) - The Pedestal Magazine (2011)
    Dear Roger - CulturePop (2010)
    Intro: Op. 67 Instructions (Audio) - IndieFeed (2010)

    Print Journals and Anthologies

    Ways To Fight For Life In Harlem - 2013
    Hippocrates Prize Anthology (2013)
    Kissing - Chorus, Edited by Saul Williams, MTV Books (2012)
    Zimbabwe - Kindling Magazine (2012)
    Two Poems - Moments of the Soul: poems of meditation and mindfulness (2010)
    Three Poems - Spoken Word Almanac Anthology (2008)
    Two Poems - His Rib: Stories, Essays and Prose by Women (2007)
    Poem for Mazique - Gotpoetry.com 2007 Best Of Anthology (2007)
    Two Poems, The Literary Review (2009)
    Before - The Oriel Literary Magazine (2008)

    Performances And Appearances:

    Has appeared at a variety of venues across the country and abroad. Select performance/reading venues include:

    Columbia University, Housing Works Bookstore, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oneonta, New York University, Pratt Institute, La Poisson Rouge, Santos Party House, The Bowery Poetry Club, Galapagos Art Space, 92Y Tribeca, The Blue Note Jazz Cafe, Philly Clef Center for Jazz, The Highline Ballroom, The Kitchen, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Museum of Art and Design,The Bronx Museum.

    Awards And Honors:

    The Jerome Lowell DeJur Prize in Creative Writing
    City College English Department Awards (2015) 

    Ja’Nai First Place Scholarship Winter Winter Poetry and Prose Getaway (2014)
    Scholarship Recipient and Acceptance

    Juniper Summer Writing Institute (2014)
    Scholarship Recipient and Acceptance

    Wesleyan Writing Conference (2014)

    The Cultural Center’s 2013 Poetry Competition Judge: Cornelius Eady
    Finalist (2013)

    Summer Literary Seminars Poetry Contest
    Fellowship Recipient (2011 & 2012)

    OneWorld Poetry Competition Pan-African Literary Forum
    First Place Fellowship Winner (2008)

    Poets&Writers Sponsored Amy Awards
    Semi-Finalist (2007, 2012, 2014)