One of Boston’s essential women of letters, Cat Parnell writes stories that bite you where it hurts. Her essays and fiction are fearless, funny, and unforgettable. Among writers who’ve worked with her, her meticulous and devoted labor as an editor—with Salamander, Consequence, and at Arrowsmith—is already the stuff of legend.
—Askold Melnyzcuk, author of The House of Widows and the forthcoming Smedley’s Secret Guide to World Literature
Catherine Parnell is the writer’s best friend. Her edits are astute and her encouragement is invaluable. Every writer, at any stage, needs the compassionate support and intelligent advice that Catherine can offer.
—JoeAnn Hart, author of Float and Addled
Every time I work with Catherine Parnell, she raises the bar. At my reading series, Literary Firsts, she knocked the audience’s collective socks off with her short story, “Morendo.” At Consequence magazine and Salamander, she works tirelessly and efficiently to emphasize the collaborative nature of an editor-writer relationship. When I was fortunate enough to have her edit my work at Consequence, I felt secure in knowing she would maintain the integrity of my narrative while streamlining the language already in place. Catherine brings her talent and professionalism to the table in everything she does—not least of all in her teaching, a task directly connected to the promotion and support of future literature—and somehow, she remains consistently effusive and honest, a rare combination in any field, but one direly needed in the literary community.
—Carissa Halston, author of The Mere Weight of Words and A Girl Named Charlie Lester
It was my good fortune to meet Catherine Parnell. As my editor, Catherine shaped this biography with astute observations, patient diplomacy, and top-notch publishing expertise.
—Denise Doherty Pappas, author of John Simmons: The Measure of a Man
Catherine’s edits were excellent and have made us much more confident this manuscript isn’t just good, but stands apart.
I was put in touch with Cat when I was organizing “Poets for Haiti,” a benefit reading following the earthquake in Haiti involving many of Boston’s most renowned poets. From our first phone call, I knew I was working with a serious powerhouse. Cat is one of the smartest, savviest, and most capable people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. She stepped in without a second thought and basically ran the public outreach for the benefit, which ended up being one of the most visible and well-attended poetry events of the year (covered by NPR, Boston Globe, Forum Network, etc). She just knows how to make things happen and make them happen in the best possible way. In all my working years, I have only come across a few people who have the kind of professionalism, energy and know-how to pull something like this off, and Cat is unquestionably one of these. I could not recommend her more highly, as a colleague and as a person.
—Kim Triedman, author of The Other Room, Plum(b), and Hadestown