Diana Goetsch’s eighth collection of poems, her first since coming out as a trans woman, introduces us to another country, where an airport, a Starbucks, a family dinner are as confounding as the riddle of the Sphinx. Maybe the answers to how to navigate America are in plain sight, spelled out in a pop song or on a milk carton. Maybe we’re destined to be tumbleweed, “drift...
In America Reviews
I received this chapbook with my Rattle subscription and all I can say is WOW!
Incredible and fresh poetry! I love it!
Uniformly, one of the best books of poetry I read this year.
“In America” by Diana Goetsch, is amazing. I got it for free with my subscription to Rattle Magazine. I really enjoyed almost every poem in the collection. “Lock on my Door” was my favorite piece, but there were so many that are memorable. Check out this book or this author if you like really good narrative poems. The word genuine is what I would say best describes this work. It’s real. It’s strong. It’s something special.
There's a welcome directness in Diana Goetsch's poetry too often missing in contemporary verse. This is a writer who confronts her subjects head on and then goes deep, whether she's describing a "tranny bar" in NYC, an encounter with a TSA agent, or the end of a friendship. Even when she's more on the elusive side -- the powerful "Lock on My Door" or the intriguing "Sweet Boy" -- she's still creating powerful portraits that stir up very real emotions. Powerful stuff.
One of the runner-ups to the 2017 Rattle Chapbook prize.
Here are links to two poems I liked:
Accessible and at times poignant. I think I actually enjoyed this "Runner-Up" in the Rattle Chapbook prize, more than Taylor Mali's Whetting Stone. But does all poetry these days need a shtick? Suicide for Mali and transgender issues for Goetsch. To Goetsch's credit though, many of the poems fit thematically without going down the transgender route.
(2017 Rattle Chapbook Prize Selection) This chapbook chronicles Goetsch’s experiences in coming to terms with being transgendered and society’s frequent inability to come to terms with it. The title poem starts the collection with a bang. After being searched at the airport, she says,
“I’m still waiting to hear about
the complaint I filed, the one that,
along with the viral video of them
repeatedly calling me “it,” shut down
the TSA website for three days
while they rewrote the rules about me…”
Very powerful yet casual and direct poetry. I didn’t realize until after I finished reading that this is her first poetry collection after transitioning. Got this with my Rattle subscription and I think it’s better than the 2017 chapbook winner, just more of my style.