Meet Cate Burns

Writing in "My Daily Diary," a padded pink vinyl diary with a well-used lock and key, provided my earliest memories. I have since filled many more journals with my secrets, one written when I was eight years old, so disturbing to a neighbor, she destroyed it. I quickly learned the power of truthful writing. Luckily, I grew up in a family that loved word-play, practical jokes and laughter. To this day, when my family gets together, we tell competitive funny stories, each person trying to outdo the other. We save up our best stories for family gatherings and hone our tales privately to individuals before we sit at the dinner table to let fly our best zingers. As an adult, I realized this family tradition can be a pleasant but devious way to frame, hide and disguise emotion.

From 1987 to 1993, I was a regular Opinion/Editorial columnist in a column called OUR TURN, for a chain of newspapers in Northern California and Northern Nevada, the Tahoe World. I also published an Opinion Editorial piece for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA in 1992. Getting a pithy message across quickly became a habit.

When I decided to combine this skill with my family tradition of humor, both dark and light, within three years, I gave birth to forty non-fiction essays, along with several short stories; these became the award-winning manuscript, Libido Tsunami, winner in the Pacific Rim Book Festival in 2016. Libido TsunamiAwash with the Droll in Life, was published in 2016 by Savant Books and Publishing under my pen name Cate Burns, to honor (or defame) the lineage in my maternal family that dates back to the Scottish poet Robert Burns.

I have enjoyed lecturing and teaching internationally at universities in Madrid, Spain; Prague, The Czech Republic; New York City; Los Angeles and Honolulu. I hold a BA degree from the University of Washington in Asian Studies, a second BA degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in Fine Arts, an MFA from the University of California Irvine in Fine Arts, and a PhD from the Union Graduate School in Art History and Women's Studies. I am a recipient of an Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation Award from the National Association of Women Artists in New York City, The Twentieth Century Award for Achievement and the International Woman of the Year Award from the International Biographical Centre, London.

Cate has received grants and awards such as the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation Award for Works on Paper, NAWA (National Assn. of Women Artists) NYC , The Twentieth Century Award for Achievement and the International Woman of the Year Award from the International Biographical Centre, London, and the Wu & Elsie Ject-Key Memorial Award for Photography, NAWA, NYC.  Published works include an Opinion Editorial San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA, Opinion/Editorial columnist, OUR TURN, Tahoe World newspaper chain in Northern Nevada and Eastern California, 1987-1993.



Cate Burns is a pen name. Other works have been published under Cate's given name, Kaethe Kauffman. In 2019, Kaethe Kauffman was honored to become an Amazon Genre Bestselling Poet.

Volution: 2014 Savant Poetry Anthology. It included 4 of Kauffman's poems, titled: Meditation, The Worms, Fish Snap, Uahi Kanaka. It won the Los Angeles, London, Paris and Pacific Rim Book Festivals awards.

Running from the Pack: 2015/16 Savant Poetry Anthology.  It included 1 of Kauffman's poems, titled: Dad in a Photo. It won the Pacific Rim Book Festival Award.

Kindred: 2018 Savant Poetry Anthology.  It included 4 of Kauffman's poems, titled: Ankle Accolade, Time to Forget, Sleeping with Strangers, Mammoth.

Entwined - 2019 Savant Poetry Anthology.  It included 5 of Kauffman's poems, titled: Beneath Pedestals, Bright Line, Flush, Grieving with Underwear II, Old Joy.

Aloha La'a Kea (Sacred Light of Love) - 2020 Savant Poetry Anthology. It included 5 of Kauffman's poems, titled: Generous in Readiness, Superior Beings, The Blue Youth, Undressing, and Walk to the Beach.


Studied writing privately with authors Jacqueline Mitchard, Ron Powers & Lynn Andrews

Attended the Maui Writers Conference and other writing conferences for 8 years.

Writing Critique group: 1996 to the present

Designed book covers for the Buddhist Studies Center Press, Honolulu, HI



PUBLISHED WRITER and EDITOR with 24 years experience

With Savant Books and Publications Kauffman edits and brings to life enduring transformative literary works with a twist. She specializes in historical fiction and narrative non-fiction, humor, memoir and women's fiction and non-fiction.

PROFESSOR with 30 years experience

PUBLIC SPEAKER with 30 years experience

ADMINISTRATOR with 10 years experience