Carolyn Stoloff

Carolyn Stoloff, a native and lifelong New Yorker, poet, and painter, taught both poetry and studio art at Manhattanville College, Purchase, New York for many years and visited other parts of the country as a guest writer for short periods. She also taught in public schools, a house of detention, and a Quaker-run halfway house for drug addicts.

Teaching left summers free for travel or a combination of work and exploration of the natural world thanks to residential grants in rural environments. She spent several productive periods at the MacDowell Colony, the UCROSS Foundation in Wyoming, the Wurlitzer Foundation in New Mexico (resulting in a collection of poems about Taos, Swiftly Now), the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and other colonies.

Stoloff was awarded a National Council on the Arts Award for achievement and numerous other awards for painting and poetry have come her way.

Over the years, her poems have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including the New Yorker, The Nation, Poetry Northwest, Yankee, the Bitter Oleander, and Bomb, to name a few.

Her work has been selected for a number of anthologies; among them are Rising Tides, A Year in Poetry, New Directions, and the New Yorker Book of Poems.

Ms. Stoloff’s previous volumes of poetry include Stepping Out (Unicorn Press), Dying to Survive (Doubleday & Co.), Swiftly Now (Ohio University Press), A Spool of Blue, New and Selected Poems (Scarecrow Press) and You Came to Meet Someone Else (Asylum Arts). Her newest collection of poetry is Reaching for Honey published by Red Hen Press.

Of Reaching for Honey, John Balaban writes, “Through Carolyn Stoloff’s painter’s eyes, a bright swarm of images rushes by us and we are filled with a sense that the world is luminous, spiritually alive, and ready to speak to us. This, her eighth book, is Rilke’s “bee of the invisible’ bringing us its honey.”

All Books

Reaching for Honey

Carolyn Stoloff

Publication Date: February 1, 2004

$13.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 1-888996-57-9




“Through Carolyn Stoloff’s painter’s eyes, a bright swarm of images rushes by us and we are filled with a sense that the world is luminous, spiritually alive, and ready to speak to us. This, her eighth book, is Rilke’s ‘bee of the invisible, bringing us its honey.”—John Balaban

“Ecclesiastes was wrong; once in awhile there is something new under the sun.”—Paula Rankin

“There is an excitement, a liveliness, in the world of Stoloff’s poetry. There is verve in her poetry reminiscent of the verve in good O’Hara poems and those jazzy paintings of Piet Mondrain, such as ‘Broadway Boogie-Woogie.'”—Library Journal


If It Isn’t Broken: A Conversation between Francesca Bell & Justine Bateman

JUSTINE BATEMAN HAS LIVED in the public eye for nearly 40 years. During those years, she’s been a lot of things — actress, writer, producer, director, designer, pilot, wife, mother — but to me she is first and foremost the author whose debut book, Fame: The Hijacking of Reality, taught me to ask myself, whenever I’m […]

B O D Y features two poems translated by BRIGHT STAIN poet, Francesca Bell!

MAX SESSNER’s poems appear widely in German-language magazines, and he is the author of eight books of poetry including, most recently, Das Wasser von Gestern (The Water of Yesterday) published by edition Azur in 2019, and Küchen und Züge (Kitchens and Trains) and Warum Gerade Heute (Why Especially Today), both from Literaturverlag Droschl. He won the Rotahorn Literature Prize in […]

2020 Washington State Book Awards: Finalists

Poetry Finalists:All Its Charms by Keetje Kuipers (BOA Editions)Bright Stain by Francesca Bell (Red Hen Press)Hail and Farewell by Abby E. Murray (Perugia Press)Nightingale by Paisley Rekdal (Copper Canyon Press)Turn Around Time: A Walking Poem for the Pacific Northwest written by David Guterson; illustrated by Justin Gibbens (Mountaineers Books) Read the full list here.


Francesca Bell’s WHAT SMALL SOUND receives a Starred Review from Shelf Awareness!

Francesca Bell (Bright Stain) writes poems that chime like the bell of her own name: bright but resonant, sharp but still familiar, lush and likely to echo long after its initial strike. What Small Sound is Bell’s second collection, and it brings together a haunting yet beautiful set of poems centered on the losses–or potential for them–that […]

Recovering Words features Francesca Bell’s WHAT SMALL SOUND!

Manifest Image The man keeps telling me I am beautiful.I still look young. He says it like I’ve asked for it,but I don’t care. For him or beauty. I am content to slip into old,wrinkled plainness, to walk on unimpeded. I was young once.My body stunned.My breasts were really something, but I was something else […]

WHAT SMALL SOUND by Francesca Bell Reviewed in Caesura Literary!

This collection immediately thrusts us into scenes of relative comfort and privilege that are all too often interrupted by the violent horrors plaguing this current time. Mind you, the terms comfort and privilege are used loosely here, as the speaker and characters will not be delivered complete relief or freedom from these trials. However, the […]

RHINO Poetry reviews Francesca Bell’s WHAT SMALL SOUND!

Between grief and relief, Francesca Bell’s poems don’t pause, they flow – like a warm bath, and someone quietly bringing a candle; then a cold shower, and the body awakened to spring. In What Small Sound, Bell’s second book, we are placed among bruised words, in a world that makes us feel, that shows the […]

Francesca Bell’s WHAT SMALL SOUND receives a Kirkus Starred Review!

A moving and musical set of poetic works. Bell’s second collection of poems offers a portrait of motherhood, devastation, and hope.  The author­’s first collection of poems, Bright Stain (2019),was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and the Julia Suk Award. Her newest book is a testament to her finely tuned poetic talent as she […]