Colie Hoffman, 38, died on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, in Portland, OR.
Colie was born February 2, 1977 in St. Joseph, MI. She grew up in Stevensville, MI, where she loved to swim in Lake Michigan. She was the runner-up in the Michigan state spelling bee in seventh grade. Colie stayed connected to many of her childhood friends throughout her life.
Colie moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in 1990. She graduated from Broughton High School in 1995 as the goalkeeper of the state champion girls’ soccer team and a star trumpet player in the jazz and marching bands. She earned a BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1999, where she made enduring friendships as a member of the women’s crew team.
A self-described vagabond, Colie studied in London, and traveled in France, Niger, Ghana, and Burkina Faso. In the same spirit of adventure, she moved from NC to Brooklyn, NY, in the fall of 2004, where she began a love affair with New York City.
Colie loved words and the magic they could conjure. Her passion for literature, poetry and writing were central to her life. She earned her MA in English in 2005 from North Carolina State University and her MFA in poetry at Hunter College in New York in 2009.
She worked as Senior Research Editor at Phocuswright, a travel industry research firm, since 2007. Previously, Colie worked as a writer at Endeavors magazine at UNC-Chapel Hill, and at Eli Research in Research Triangle Park, NC.
Colie’s poems and essays have been published online and in literary journals, including Typo Mag, Sixth Finch, TheThe Poetry, Obsidian, Blood Orange Review, and The Collagist. Her poem Hug Machine won the Disquiet Literary Award in 2014. The artistic community further recognized Colie’s promise as a notable poet and supported her work by awarding her two writers’ residencies, the M Literary Residency at Sangam House in India and a residency at Writers Omi at Ledig House in New York.
Colie met and fell in love with her future wife, Jen Morse, while living and playing soccer in Durham. They were together for over ten years, were married in New York, in 2011, and celebrated their marriage with friends and family in Durham in 2012.
Together, Colie and Jen have lived in Durham, NC; Millbrook, NY; and Portland, OR. They shared many travel experiences together in Italy, Spain, India, Denmark, Germany, St. Lucia, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Colie and Jen had recently adopted Lucy, fulfilling Colie’s lifelong dream of having a dog that she wasn’t allergic to.
Colie loved taking walks, playing her trumpet, drinking coffee slowly, eating brunch with friends, watching crime shows and comedies, reading novels, poetry and nonfiction, petting dogs and horses, and doing crossword puzzles.
Colie had a sensitive spirit, a vibrant imagination, a rare empathy, and an offbeat sense of humor that drew people to her. She loved and was loved by many people. She will be deeply missed by family and friends.
Colie is survived by her wife, Jen; her mother, Sandy Hoffman (Raleigh, NC); sister Melissa Hoffman and husband Wes Elder, and their children Olivia, Ethan, and Elizabeth (Raleigh, NC); and brother Matthew and wife Ashley Hoffman (Atlanta, GA). Colie is preceded in death by her father John Hoffman, (Raleigh, NC).
Two gatherings will celebrate Colie’s life through a sharing of memories, poems, photos, and music. The first will be brunch on Sunday, June 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Colie and Jen’s home at 633 NE Morris St., Portland, OR, 97212. Another will be in Raleigh, NC on Saturday, July 11, at 4:00 p.m. at the home of Colie’s mother Sandra Hoffman, 9800 Erinsbrook Drive, Raleigh, NC, 27617.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Hunter College MFA Program to create an award for women poets. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.