Carrie Etter: The Power of Naming

Carrie Etter, born in 1969 in Normal, Illinois, is an acclaimed American poet, academic, and critic. Etter’s poetic journey began early in her life, nurtured by her passion for literature and a profound love of language.

Etter pursued her higher education in the United States, earning a BA in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She later moved to the United Kingdom, where she completed her PhD at the University of Surrey. This transatlantic academic and creative journey significantly influenced her poetic voice, blending American and British literary traditions.

Etter’s poetry is known for its emotional depth, lyrical beauty, and exploration of themes such as grief, memory, and identity. Her debut collection, “The Tethers,” was published in 2009 and received critical acclaim, winning the London New Poetry Award. She followed this with “Divining for Starters” (2011) and “Imagined Sons” (2014), further establishing her reputation as a significant contemporary poet.

“Grief’s Alphabet” (2024), one of her most notable works, is a deeply personal and evocative collection that uses an alphabetical structure to explore the multifaceted nature of mourning. Her poetry has been praised for its innovative structure, emotional resonance, and lyrical precision.

In addition to her writing, Etter is a respected academic and educator. She has taught creative writing and literature at several institutions and is currently a Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University in the UK. Her commitment to nurturing new literary talent is evident in her teaching and mentoring roles.

Etter is also an active editor and critic, contributing essays, reviews, and edited collections to the literary community. Her editorial work includes the anthology “Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets” (2010), which highlights diverse voices in contemporary poetry.

Carrie Etter’s life and work are marked by her transatlantic experiences and her dedication to exploring the human condition through poetry. She continues to reside in the UK, where she balances her writing, teaching, and editorial pursuits with a commitment to fostering literary excellence.

Etter’s contributions to contemporary poetry, both through her own work and her efforts to support and promote other poets, have made her a respected and influential figure in the literary world. Her ability to capture complex emotions with clarity and grace ensures her place as a vital voice in modern poetry.

Read The Guardian review of Grief’s Alphabet at: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2024/apr/05/the-best-recent-poetry-review-roundup

ENTER The Plaza Audio Poetry Prize. Judge: Paul Farley. 1st Prize: £1,000 (US$1250). Deadline: 31st June 2024.