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Official Website of Poet/Playwright

Cherryl T. Cooley
(Cherryl Floyd-Miller)

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“The first poem in Exquisite Heats, "Trapeze: The Greatest Show on Earth," is an amazing four-part prose poem with burnt language… she launches into that day with sharp, crisp language…'bicuspids making mouth wind after meat.' She is experimental, works with a variety of forms… I love this book from the get-go.”

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"The poetry of Cherryl Floyd-Miller possesses a bottomless range: formalism that remains fresh in language, lyricism that speaks beyond its music, and narratives with characters we'll never forget."

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"I...stretch to bask in each illumination...the fires of humanity and the small heats of love, all of which can burn out, leaving behind extraordinary textures and patterns of ash, which is the extraordinary substance of these poems."


JULENE TRIPP WEAVER, Psychotherapist, Poet, Creative Nonfiction and Flash Fiction Writer

A. VAN JORDAN, Poet, Guggenheim Fellow, 2015 Lannan Literary Award Winner

THYLIAS MOSS, Poet, Prose Writer, 1996 MacArthur Foundation Genius Award Recipient

"Cherryl has penned one of my all-time favorite monologues, a gorgeous piece of playwriting that navigates the depths of human emotion, vulnerability, loss, love, and womanhood. I look forward to seeing what worlds she will build next through her art. Her writing is a gift."


"...she is the real deal. Studied and experienced, with a heart as generous as the ocean, her arresting ability to fuse the realms of head and heart with such economy and copiousness is uncanny. Her poems are smart and exacting without pretension ... What Cherryl does with this craft is singular and innovative." 

KAIRA AKITA, Designer, Storyteller, Creative Thought Leader

SAMANTHA THORNHILL, Author, Facilitator, Intuitive



If you let the people who have known me all my life tell it, I'm the free-spirited smart girl, the doctor-lawyer-brain surgeon gone far off the path of capability. In most of my family circles, this makes me a strange bird, someone oddly familiar who always has her nose into some creative thing they don't always understand. They love me in spite of my strange ways and continue to watch what I might be doing next.



I've been asked this question frequently: "What do you write about?" It's far easier to talk about what I don't touch as a writer.

I always work very hard to bring music and sound to the page in some form or fashion. I am the daughter of a gospel singing father and a mother who can look at anything once and reproduce it with her own spin. What else could my voice have inherited but this music?


As a writer, I also lean into folklore and myth, Southern culture (especially that of the Carolinas), the deep layers of women's stories, what tends to serve 'on the record' as history, family,  love infidelities, self-betrayals, historical icons as real people and race ... but not exclusively. Each of these things is a lens, and any subject I choose to write about is accountable to the complexity of these lenses."


A native North Carolinian, Cherryl T. Cooley has published two single-author volumes of poems, Utterance: A Museology of Kin (2003) and Exquisite Heats  (Salt Publishing, 2008). Chops, an art book project released by Nexus Press, won the 2005 AIGA Gold SEED Award and is permanently housed in the Museum of Modern Art.


Her stage play, "Settling Sophia," has had workshop and full productions in North Carolina, Michigan and Atlanta, Georgia.


Before 2013, she published as Cherryl Floyd-Miller. She loves, lives and works from Northern Virginia.

Poetry and Brand Work

My work as a poet has connected me to many brands, literary centers and other venues. Each of these connections is a way to bring poetry to everyone's life. I invite you to explore ways to bring poets and commissioned poetry projects into your company, events, occasions, initiatives, marketing campaigns and product launches.

Readings & Appearances

Two Writers

Pairing writers in 2 literary genres 

As a featured writer in this series, I was paired with Michael Gaspeny, who was my college professor and mentor, for an evening of prose / poetry.



ORANGE, Va. - Firnew Farms Artists Circle and the Poetry Society of Virginia Ekphrastic Partnership. Read poem created for artist Lee Barker's painting "Reflections." Also, viewed Lee Barker's painting created for my poem "Josephine." 



WOODBRIDGE, Va. - In the Company of Laureates: Spoke to audience of Poets Laureate from across the country. 



RICHMOND, Va. - Elected first African American President of the Poetry Society of Virginia, after presenting the "Living the Legacy You Desire" workshop at the organization's Centennial Festival.



CARROLLTON, Texas—As a selected speaker for the "SPEAK: Homecoming" event, delivered a live speech on "The Starving Artist Myth."



RICHMOND, Va.—2022 Joseph Pendleton Campbell Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of Virginia. Winning poem: "Asters Greet As They Pass While Faintly Smiling." Also, 2nd Place winner of the Karma Deane Ogden Memorial Award for the poem, "Jig."


NEW YORK - "Percussion" poem featured in a concerto by Brooklyn-based musical ensemble Sō Percussion at Lincoln Center for Performing Arts. Poem was on the org's website for 3 months. 



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