CAROLINE ROTHSTEIN writer | poet | performer
Caroline Rothstein is a New York City-based award-winning writer, poet and performer. She has been performing poetry, public speaking, and facilitating workshops at colleges, schools, and performance venues worldwide for over a decade. In sharing her personal story unfiltered, unabashed, and unashamed, Caroline’s motto is "From Adversity Comes Triumph,” empowering individuals to embrace self-confidence and authenticity. Encouraging audiences and readers alike to find strength in their vulnerability, her work ushers others to unlock permission in embracing the power of their own story and voice.
Caroline was a member of the 2010 Nuyorican Poets Cafe slam team, which placed second at the 2010 National Poetry Slam, and is a youth Mentor at Urban Word NYC. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, Narratively, The Forward, Williams Magazine, and elsewhere. Her Narratively article “Legends Never Die” about what happened to the kids from the 1995 cult classic film Kids went viral. As a multi-media journalist, she is a producer on the forthcoming documentary “The Kids,” and was an Associate Producer on Andrea B. Scott’s “Florence, Arizona." She hosts the YouTube series “Body Empowerment,” and sits as President Emeritus of the Board of Directors for Mental Fitness, Inc. Her award-winning one-woman play “faith” about her experience with and recovery from an eating disorder debuted as part of the Culture Project’s Women Center Stage 2012 Festival.
An alumna of and former Director for The Excelano Project, a nationally-acclaimed spoken word poetry organization at the University of Pennsylvania, Caroline was the 2004 and 2006 UPenn Grand Slam Champion, a five-time College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational finalist, and she helped coach the UPenn slam team to CUPSI championships in 2007 and 2009. Upon graduating in 2006, Caroline was honored for her work with an event in her name at the Kelly Writer’s House called “The Caroline Rothstein Annual Oral Poetry Event.” She has a B.A. in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
"Meeting Caroline and participating in her workshop was one of the most transformative experiences during my college career. As she spun her wonderful web of words, Caroline slowly started to transform each and every student sitting in her presence. I do not only speak for myself when I say that Caroline gave me a voice that had been suffocated for years, strength to share my own story and most importantly compassion for myself. Caroline gave me the courage and confidence to know I was not alone. TRULY an inspiration and a performance that will remain with me forever." - Rocky Salomon, graduation speaker, Barnard College Class of 2014
“Caroline Rothstein is fearless – or maybe more accurately, she is so open and honest with her work that she seems to dispel all shadows from a room, even when discussing the darkest topics. I’ve had her speak at multiple events for women, and every time, not a single person leaves the room without feeling an intense admiration for her as an artist, as a speaker, and as a person.” – Harper Yi, former “Her Campus” Editor-in-Chief, College of William & Mary, Class of 2015
"Caroline is an engaging and arresting performer. Her poems address confronting topics of sexual harassment, loss, love and identity in a humorous, honest and interactive way. I saw her adapt her work to across different mediums - from performance to workshops, and across different audiences - kids to adults. In every scenario her audiences were highly engaged and walked out inspired. Her performance from several months ago still has resonance with me today." - Tamara Samuel, CEO, Shalom
"Caroline is a unique performer and person. She is able to draw in a large (or small group) into an intimate performance and engage then with her spoken word poetry. Her performances are brutally honest and open about subjects that are often shied away from in public discussion, i.e. rape and body image. At Limmud Fest we were lucky enough to see her bravely do a first time live mash-up of multiple poems and it was astounding the way she was open to trying this technique in front of a large audience without fear of failure. She is an incredible role model for young and old alike. It is unusual to meet a performer who is so raw and yet polished at the same time. Participants at Limmud Fest could not get enough of her and flocked to her workshops and performances." - Sharon Berger, Limmud Director Sydney
"Caroline performs passionately using words masterfully in such a way that she connects to her audience thereby ensuring honest dialogue. Her poignant poetry and soulful presentation allows teenagers to connect and feel “they are enough”! When I first met Caroline Rothstein, I was immediately struck by her warm presence and her vivacious personality. I am principal of Herzlia Middle School and not all guest speakers or workshop presenters can truly relate to Middle Schoolers. However, form the first interaction with our pupils, there was a connection. Pupils form Grade 7 to Grade 9 sat mesmerized as she performed, listening to words that so aptly describe the emotions and issues they are dealing with in their lives. Our staff members (of all ages) were in awe of her talent and gift to reach out to adolescents and make them feel heard and understood. Some of our pupil’s reactions after her presentation thanked her for making them realize that they are normal, some thanked her for making them realize that they are special and not alone in their struggles. One shy girl in Grade 8 went up to Caroline and said that she had made a difference in her life. What more of a testimony can one ask for than those of our pupils themselves. We cannot wait for the privilege of hosting Caroline at our school again." - Mevrou Lizbe Botes, Principal, Herzlia Middle School
"At first, I payed little attention to the woman standing on stage speaking, until I heard her perform, "How to Have the Best Orgasm of Your Entire Life" - then I was hooked. She spoke with such passion and took the time to help students where they were in life, stopping her performance to specifically address the concerns one student had with an eating disorder. I spoke to Caroline after the event, and she is now a treasured addition to my life as a spoken word artist, a mentor, and a friend." - Ryan Jones, Award-winning writer & former Chief Photographer of the Georgia Highlands College Six Mile Post, University of West Georgia, Class of 2016
"In her performances and group workshops, Caroline moves passionately from performed words to honest dialogue. She combines poignant poetry, soulful presentation, and sensitive facilitation of group discussions in order to make meaning out of the chaos of issues surrounding body image, sexual violence, and spirituality. This incredible cross-section of experiences is the unique gift that Caroline presents to her audiences." - Maya Zinkow, Creative Writing Major, Barnard College, Class of 2014