A Shape of Sky
by Cathy Cain
Like prism light, Cathy Cain’s poems in A Shape of Sky reveal, in distinct colors, the predicament and magic of living in our bodies. Cain, a visual artist as well as a writer, illuminates complexity, beauty, and exuberant sensuousness wherever she directs her gaze. Whether she focuses on the work of artists like David Hockney, James Turrell, Kiki Smith, the process of making art, or merely the everyday, her poetry reminds us that an aesthetic view can sustain us with energy and hope.
About the Author
Poet and visual artist Cathy Cain is the author of Bee Dance (The Poetry Box, 2019) and Empty Space Places You (Finishing Line Press, 2018). Her honors include the Kay Snow Paulann Petersen Award for Poetry; the Edwin Markham Prize for Poetry; and First Place, Second Place, and Honorable Mentions from the Oregon Poetry Association. Her poetry has appeared in Reed Magazine, The Poeming Pigeon, Verseweavers, and VoiceCatcher.
Cain is a two-year Poet’s Studio alumna and a 2014-2015 Atheneum Fellow, both at the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters. Additionally, she has studied with Portland’s Mountain Writers Series and with visiting poets through Literary Arts.
She holds degrees in literature and visual art from Lewis & Clark College, MAT; Oregon State University, BFA; and University of Washington, BA, Phi Beta Kappa.
Cain taught in the public schools for over thirty years. She is the lucky wife of a sweet man, and the mother of two fine sons. She lives with her husband near Portland, Oregon.
Early Praise for A Shape of Sky:
Cathy Cain’s poems are balanced between the light and darkness of what is said and unsaid, of what decays and what blossoms. Her wonderful book tends to the margins of existence with a steady eye. Time and again, the poems in A Shape of Sky are like maps to guide us through the transformations that can come from perspective, resilience, and wonder.
—David Biespiel, author of A Place of Exodus
What strikes me about [the poem] “Overlap” is how carefully it examines the seemingly mundane. The allusions are poignant while still leaving the objects and the tiny clashes between them to speak for themselves.
—David Perez, Poet Laureate Emeritus, Santa Clara County, CA, and author, Love in a Time of Robot Apocalypse
The experience of reading Cathy Cain’s A Shape of Sky is akin to walking through an art museum, if all the paintings were rendered in words. In language that is lyrical, sensual, and brave, Cain expertly braids experiences of the natural world, the body, the mythic and spiritual, and the creation and contemplation of art into poems that radiate both light and darkness. At times, the words themselves seemed to lift off the page and hover before me, illuminated. In this astonishing collection, Cain creates for the reader “a delicate descending/ from heavy dream into uncluttered light.”
—Brittney Corrigan, author of Daughters