Katherine Hastings is the author of four collections from Spuyten Duyvil Press (NYC): A Different Beauty (2022); Shakespeare & Stein Walk Into a Bar (2016); Nighthawks (2014); and Cloud Fire (2012), as well as several chapbooks. Poet laureate emerita of Sonoma County, CA, Hastings edited Know Me Here — An Anthology of Poetry by Women; Digging Our Poetic Roots — Poems from Sonoma County; and What Redwoods Know — Poems from California State Parks, published as a benefit for the California State Parks Foundation when 70 parks were faced with permanent closure. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including The Book of Forms — A Handbook of Poetics (University Press of New England, Lewis Putnam Turco, editor); Fog and Light — San Francisco Through the Eyes of the Poets Who Live Here (Blue Light Press, Diane Frank, editor); Pandemic Puzzles (Blue Light Press, Diane Frank, editor); Verde Que Te Quiero Verde — Poems After Federico Garcia Lorca (Open Country Press, Natalie Peeterse, Editor); Changing Harm to Harmony — Bullies & Bystanders Project (Marin Poetry Center, Joseph Zaccardi, editor); Beatitude — Golden Anniversary (Latif Harris and Neeli Cherkovski, editors), among others. She hosted WordTemple on NPR affiliate KRCB FM (2007 — 2017) and founded the WordTemple Poetry Series in Sonoma County (2006 — 2017) where she also taught craft-focused poetry workshops. Following the October 2017 wildfires, Hastings moved with her partner to Western New York in 2018.
On A Different Beauty:
“This is a lovely book of poetry. In its pages you can find the breadth of skies, the vicissitudes of waves, the virulence of fires and ash which demand we make ourselves, our homes anew and birds’ spread wings that reflect fire and blood. Water as river, as rain, as snow, and with the constancy of oceans flavor these poems of memory and loss, acceptance and humility, death and renewal. These poems are layered and deep while shaped by language that is elegant in its simplicity.” — devorah major, poet laureate emerita, San Francisco.
“Shakespeare & Stein Walk Into a Bar is animated by the two most rewarding and replenishing of poetic forces: dexterous formal diversity and a fierce, unflinching searching…” — Malachi Black
“Rooted in what Hastings calls the “momentary forever,” these marvelous poems, so rich with detail and so full of duende, explore the paradoxes of transience. Yes, the poet reminds us: ‘The alarm is set and ticking’ for each least thing in the living world…” — Susan Kelly-DeWitt
On Cloud Fire:
“Lovely…it’s your veiled history.” — Lawrence Ferlinghetti
“For Katherine Hastings, ‘The mirror is a lake of longing’. Her poems are told us by ‘a woman with a moon in her chest;’ their surprising images embrace close observation, deeply dramatized love and losses, and have the power of crossing boundaries of spirit to reveal truths otherwise unseen.” — Daniel Hoffman, US Poet Laureate, 1973 — 1974