Kate Hutchinson is an award-winning poet.
Many of her poems and personal essays have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies over the last several years, including "Shenandoah" and "The Dos Passos Review," and at the website of "Minerva Rising," where she is an occasional guest blogger. Kate has taught high school English for 30 years, and she now also teaches a poetry writing course for a local university each summer.
"Map Making: Poems of Land and Identity" is Kate Hutchinson's first full-length collection. A chapbook of twenty poems, The Gray Limbo of Perhaps, was published in 2012 by Finishing Line Press.
Hutchinson has family roots in southwest Iowa, but she has lived most of her life in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, where she is near woods and open spaces and can commune with the trees, birds and clouds (her favorites of each being cottonwoods, chickadees, and cirrus). She attributes her love of nature to her parents, who raised the family next to a large forest preserve. Even when she is among the trees, though, there is no escaping the fact that civilization is nearby, with jets overhead descending toward O'Hare.
As the daughter of a mother who faced a serious illness and early death, and as the mother of a son with autism, Kate has never worn rose-colored glasses. She is alarmed by the effects of climate change and our slow response to it; she often feels deflated by the ongoing suffering in the world. Yet she can still feel buoyed by the tenacity and spirit of so many people and other living beings who find ways to adapt and thrive despite hardship. During her years in the classroom, Kate has regularly witnessed teenagers reading great literature and pondering the key questions it raises. She never ceases to be thrilled – and hopeful – when young people recognize new possibilities for themselves and their world and begin to develop their passions and voices.