Hello, friend.

I believe that language can change lives and stories move people. And when we lift up our voices together—in song, protest, prayer, & joy—we can shape the world we wish to see.

What that means: I create meaningful experiences for individuals and communities through text, art, and in-person gatherings.

I’m lit up by entrepreneurial collaboration: starting new initiatives and organizations that meet a clear need, in close connection with others. I co-founded Ashreinu, the only independent spiritual community in the city of St. Louis; co-created Index/Fist, a woman-led collective that publishes handmade magazines in the San Francisco Bay Area; and co-created The 18 Somethings Project, a virtual writing exchange to activate your creativity.

As a poet and editor, I know that language can inspire change, engender empathy, and have a profound effect on the way we see the world. My direct, collaborative approach helps writers (anyone from an acupuncturist to a millennial workplace expert) close the gap between where the text is, and and where they need it to be. I’m the author of Ritual in Blue (Sutra Press, 2018). I hold an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis, where I was a T.S. Eliot Scholar, and a BA with honors in Creative Writing (and a minor in religion) from Carnegie Mellon University.

As a facilitator, I love meeting people where they are, and expanding their ideas of what is possible. I’ve taught students of all ages at Washington University in St. Louis, the Yiddish Book Center, Jewish Vocational Center (JVS) in San Francisco, the Negev Writers Retreat, and elsewhere.

I’m currently open to select projects that involve collaborating with individuals or organizations who are bringing people together for meaningful, positive connection with themselves, each other, and the wider world, in a shared vision of justice and liberation. This often takes the shape of facilitation, copywriting, developmental editing, brand & content strategy, marketing & community engagement, and coaching for writers. (See past work.)

Based in Oakland, CA. She/her/hers. Say hi@carokess.com.

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