Catherine is the winner of the inaugural Barry Spacks Poetry Prize for her manuscript, Instead of Sadness. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in venues including The Southern Review, Tar River Poetry, Connotation Press, Cider Press Review and Canary and has been selected for Verse Daily. All the While, a chapbook from Finishing Line Press, was a finalist in the New Women’s Voices contest. A native of Santa Barbara (who met Barry Spacks in the 1980s through the South Coast Writing Project), she lives with her family in the San Joaquin Valley where she teaches English at Porterville College. Poems from Instead of Sadness have been featured on Writer’s Almanac (twice!).
Judge Dan Gerber said of Hodges’ work:
In Catherine Abbey Hodges’s Instead of Sadness the beauty is there as the bread of life, as the poems enter and grow in us—the kind of experience we come to expect in good poems—the feeling of “Ah yes, that’s right.” In classically beautiful and precise language, we are reminded again and again of what we didn’t know we knew. They effect their changes in us subtly and steadily, convincing us that their perceptions and discoveries are our own—which, when we have given them our full attention, is exactly right. In the course of discovering her own experience in the unfolding of the poem she lets us in on the adventure; we believe we are experiencing her surprise at the poem’s destination just as she is discovering it. And we know, at that moment, that we are the better for it. These are truly beautiful, finely honed poems.
Gunpowder Press is thrilled that Catherine Abbey Hodges published her subsequent book with Gunpowder Press as well. Raft of Days was released in August 2017.