Catherine Pierce

Catherine Pierce


Co-Director of Creative Writing


2310 Lee Hall
Department of English
P.O. Box E
Mississippi State, MS 39762


  • Ph.D., University of Missouri, 2007
  • M.F.A., The Ohio State University, 2003
  • B.A., Susquehanna University, 2000

Teaching Interests

Creative Writing, poetry, 20th and 21st Century American literature

Recent Courses


Catherine Pierce co-directs MSU's creative writing program, and teaches classes in creative writing and American literature. She is the author of three books of poems: The Tornado Is the World (2016), The Girls of Peculiar (2012), and Famous Last Words (2008, winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize), all from Saturnalia Books. Both The Tornado Is the World and The Girls of Peculiar won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, American Poetry Review, Slate, Ploughshares, Boston Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Gettysburg Review, A Public Space, FIELD, and elsewhere.She joined the faculty at Mississippi State in 2007.



The Tornado is the World book coverThe Tornado Is the World
2016, 80 pp.
ISBN 978-0996220668

The Girls of Peculiar book coverGirls of Peculiar
2012, 80 pp.
ISBN 978-0983368625

Famous Last Words book coverFamous Last Words
2008, 80 pp.
ISBN 0-97549-907-6


Animals of Habit book coverAnimals of Habit
Wick Poetry Chapbook Series Three, #7
2004, 40 pp
ISBN 0-87338-805-4
Kent State University Press

Selected Recent Publications

  • “Strategies for Mothers in the Age of This Age.” Five Points 18.3 (2018): 79-80
  • “Work” (featured broadside). Orion 37.1 (2018).
  • “Prayer,” “Shell Game.” American Poetry Review 47.2 (2018): 27.
  • “Poem for the Speakeasy,” “From The Compendium of Romantic Words: Delicatessen,” “From The Compendium of Romantic Words: Undone.” Blackbird 16.2 (2017).
  • “Anthropocene Pastoral.” American Poetry Review 46.6 (2017): 44.
  • “Planet.”The Southern Review 53.2 (2017): 335.
  • “Poem for the Parlor.” New England Review 38.2 (2017): 89.

Professional Honors and Awards

  • Pushcart Prize for poem "I Kept Getting Books About Birds" (orig. published in the Gettysburg Review), 2018
  • Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award for Poetry (for The Tornado Is the World), 2017
  • Inclusion in the 2015 Best American Poetry anthology
  • Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award for Poetry (for The Girls of Peculiar), 2013
  • Inclusion in the 2011 Best American Poetry anthology

Faculty & Staff