History and Publications
Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt hails from the Northern Virginia/D.C. metro area where she has lived since 1999.
Raised in a working class family of Middle Eastern and Sicilian descent in the then-small town of Billerica in Massachusetts, she considers herself a writer by nature and by trade, having begun writing as soon as her mother helped teach her to read. A first-generation college student, she earned undergraduate degrees from Middlesex Community College and University of Massachusetts Lowell. She received her M.Ed. with writing concentration from Cambridge College.
Katherine's first published poem, "Remembering Thoreau," appeared in ELF: Eclectic Literary Forum in in the early 1990s. Since then, her work has been appeared in publications such as Yankee, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Frogpond, The Southern Quill, Portrait of New England and dozens of other journals, anthologies, books and online media. Her poetry has been taught in secondary and post-secondary classrooms and workshops.
As of 2023, Katherine has authored 12 books: Poems from the Battlefield, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, Approaching Felonias Park, Weaker Than Water, Bury Me Under a Lilac, Late April, A Crane Named Steve (storybook and coloring book), Get Happy, Dammit and Get Happier, Dammit. D.C. Ekphrastic: Crisis of Faith was released in December 2020. Thirty Years of Cardinals Calling was published by San Francisco Bay Press in 2022. Get Happier, Dammit was published later in 2022. In 2023, We All Might be Witches was published by MacKenzie Publishing.
Recent Awards and Recognition
2019-2020 - Katherine has been a Prince William County Poet Laureate nominee and was the winner of Inside NoVa’s 2019 and 2020 Best of Prince William award in the category of author. Her poetry and prose book Get Happy, Dammit: Staying Inspired and Motivated in an Often-Unhappy World received a Silver Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association. Katherine's children’s book, an illustrated epic poem entitled A Crane Named Steve, hit number one in its category on Amazon in 2019. She took first place in the free verse category of Loudoun County Library Foundation’s 2020 Rhyme On poetry contest for her piece "Discussion Topic." The Prince William Arts Council and Poet Laureate Circle awarded her the 2020 Outstanding Poetry Project Award for her leadership in Write by the Rails' Poems Around Town poetry installation.
2021 - In 2021 Katherine earned second place for "Aftermath" in a Poetry Society of Virginia national contest, and the regional Seefeldt Award for Arts Excellence in the category of Individual Artist. She won first place in the Virginia Writers Club statewide Golden Nib contest in the poetry category for her poem "Kayak." Katherine was recognized with a PW Perspective 2021 DMV Best Business award in the category of author.
2023 - In April 2023, Katherine’s poem “Now Entering Manassas” was the winner of Manassas, Virginia's adult “time capsule” poetry contest. Katherine read the piece at the city's 150th anniversary celebration, and the translated version by Jorge de Villasante was read in Spanish by poet Bianca Menendez. Neighbors of Historic Manassas magazine published the poem, and it was included in the city’s time capsule. In November that year, Katherine's poem "Firefly" won Honorable Mention in the 2023 international poetry competition sponsored by Valiant Scribe.
Career and Affiliations
While Katherine is well-known for her poetry, she also has established a reputation for writing articles, columns and flash fiction. She is a widely published freelancer.
Katherine is a founding member and past president of Write by the Rails (WbtR), the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. She is also a member of Poetry Society of Virginia, Haiku Society of America, the Prince William County Arts Council and Gainesville-Haymarket Rotary Club.
When she is not writing or volunteering, Katherine spends time enjoying nature and relaxing with her husband David, their rescue animals, and their adult children Andrew and Alexandra.