Photo by Benoit Cortet.

Colby Cedar Smith is an award-winning poet, novelist, and educator. She has spent the last twenty years teaching creative writing and storytelling workshops in schools, art museums, community centers, and corporations. Her poetry has been a finalist for over twenty poetry prizes including The Iowa Review Poetry Award, the James Wright Poetry Prize, the Colorado Prize for Poetry; and a semi-finalist for the 92Y “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize.  In 2020, Colby received a New Jersey Council on the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. Colby’s debut novel in verse,  Call Me Athena: Girl from Detroit  (Andrews McMeel, 2021) has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild Gold Selection Standard Selection; an American Booksellers Association Kids’ Indie Next Pick; a Cybils Award Poetry Finalist; a Goodreads Choice Best Poetry Nominee, A Kid’s Book Choice Nominee for Stellar Storytelling; an Independent Publisher Book Awards Silver medal for YA Fiction; a Silver Nautilus Award for Lyric Prose; a Michigan notable book; a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Nominee; and The Midwest Book Award Winner for YA Fiction. Her second novel in verse, The Siren and the Star will be published in the fall of 2025 (Simon & Schuster). She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, and rescue pup.


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