Catherine Berra is an avid writer, poet, horsewoman, and world traveler, a dedicated mother and friend, and a lover of nature. She holds a BA in communications/business management from Metropolitan State University in Denver and an Animals and Human Health certification from the University of Denver. For more than twenty years, her career in Washington, D.C., revolved around senior-level logistical and management support to a U.S. ambassador and technical writing at the State Department.
Upon her return to Colorado in 2014, she resumed her passion for writing and giving back to the world. She is the founder of BeHerd, LLC, an equine-assisted, confidence-building activities program. Catherine resides in Littleton, Colorado, is the proud mother of Alexander Aziz, and relishes her role as caretaker of her rescue horse, Dancer. You can find her at Sassypantspress.com.
The following is an interview with the poet.
Each week, The Colorado Sun and Colorado Humanities & Center For The Book feature an excerpt from a Colorado book and an interview with the author. Explore the SunLit archives at coloradosun.com/sunlit.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have been writing poetry since I was a young girl. Last year I met a woman who had self-published a book and decided it was time to take the plunge. I sat down and went through hundreds of my poems and created this collection as my first try at it all. I’m currently working on a second volume.
Tell us about creating this book: any research and travel you might have done, any other influences on which you drew?
The book came together after deciding which poems to use, but I’ve always wanted to create a cover using a water color my son painted when he was three years old. He is now 27 and I did, indeed, use that watercolor. I love the result. As for influences, my poems are about people and places that have influenced my life thus far. It is an homage to them all.
What were the biggest challenges you faced, or surprises you encountered in completing this book?
It was very difficult to decide which poems would go in for this first volume. Overall it was a great experience. I worked with My Word Publishing and they made the entire experience a pleasant one.
Walk us through your writing process: Where and when do you write? What time of day? Do you listen to music, need quiet?
I am one of those odd poets; I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes and a poem just happens so I write it down. Other times, a word or thought will come to me and I create a line of poetry that then takes me along.
What’s your next project?
I am working on several projects; a humorous book about online dating, another poetry volume and an inspirational book.