SwampFire Retreat for Artists and Writers


Mary Catherine Harper

To Harper Website

Mary Catherine Harper is a poet and Professor
of English at Defiance College. She co-organizes
SwampFire Retreat with Dawn Comer.

My 2014 update: I’m proud to have won the 2013 Gwendolyn Brooks Prize for Poetry, awarded by the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature.

Brooks was an amazing poet, an amazing person.
Here's what the Poetry Foundation says about her.

Mary Catherine carving a bowl at 4 Corners Gallery, 14 July 2012
photo by Jennifer Creighton


Some designs I've created to work with poetry:




Here's the poem I used in the symmetrical design above
(on a marching mantis bed just for fun):


Smelling of melon and charred corn chips,
two old lovers came to me in a dream
describing poems they’d written
and squirreled away on flash drives
in case of famine to feed a starving heart.

Their verses spoke of Rorschach tests,
of beauty in the legs of insects anchored
to a spider's web, but I did not understand.




An image I can't get out of my head.
Toul Sleng needed all the dragonflies that fled.


To Hover Above the Universe


SwampFire, a haven for artists and writers . . . and other fellow creatures . . .

Insects on a sittin’ stump, SwampFire 2009


Sunsets still take my breath away, SwampFire 2008


Lead Screen . . . just because of the texture, SwampFire 2008


Students deep in writing . . . I still feel their thought buzz, SwampFire 2009

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