In America

In America

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...

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Title:In America
Author:Diana Goetsch
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Edition Language:English

In America Reviews

  • Luanne Castle

    Goetsch is well-known for writing 31 essays following her transition from male to female. These essays, called Life in Transition, are archived at The American Scholar at this link:

    #. In this poetry chapbook, Goetsch writes about a life in flux and shaped in part by her gender identity. The poems don’t seem to be in chronological order, and I was never sure at “what point” she was in her life, except by just going with the flow of the poem. When I read a

    Goetsch is well-known for writing 31 essays following her transition from male to female. These essays, called Life in Transition, are archived at The American Scholar at this link:

    #. In this poetry chapbook, Goetsch writes about a life in flux and shaped in part by her gender identity. The poems don’t seem to be in chronological order, and I was never sure at “what point” she was in her life, except by just going with the flow of the poem. When I read a poem near the end of the book where she called herself “a man / driving the Oklahoma panhandle,” I thought to myself, hmm, she clearly was a man there. But five lines later, she says, “I say

    . Back then I don’t know what / I would have said. I would have said

    .” These accessible, well-constructed poems bring the reader into the mutability of Goetsch’s past life.

  • Drew

    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.

  • Jimmy

    One of the runner-ups to the 2017 Rattle Chapbook prize.

    Here are links to two poems I liked:

  • Alarie

    (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…”

  • Diana Iozzia

    “In America”

    Written by Diana Goetsch

    I feel very uncomfortable rating this book, because I reached out to Diana herself to read and review her book. She was concerned that my taste in poetry and reading material might not fit the book she’s written. I’m sad to say that she’s a bit right.

    Diana’s poetry is good, but it’s just not my type of writing, so please take my rating with a grain of salt. I didn’t like it, but I do not think it is a poorly written collection of poetry.

    Diana speaks about ve

    “In America”

    Written by Diana Goetsch

    I feel very uncomfortable rating this book, because I reached out to Diana herself to read and review her book. She was concerned that my taste in poetry and reading material might not fit the book she’s written. I’m sad to say that she’s a bit right.

    Diana’s poetry is good, but it’s just not my type of writing, so please take my rating with a grain of salt. I didn’t like it, but I do not think it is a poorly written collection of poetry.

    Diana speaks about very relevant topics in America today relating to members of the LGBT community: airport security, transportation, job stresses, and more. As a member of the community, I do try to understand all points of others and support others of the LGBT community. But because I do not consider myself to be transgender, and because I do not know many people who are, I do not personally relate to her poetry. I think it’s interesting to read, because I’m sure it is very relatable to people like her.

    I think if you are interested in learning more about the trans community and reading perspectives of LGBT folks, this is a great collection for you. I haven’t read any other poetry collections I’ve come across from a member of the LGBT community, so thank you. Diana’s poetry are also very nostalgic and calming to read, as if they remind me a bit of my childhood.

    I enjoyed the poems, “Bowie”, “Lock On My Door”, “The Waves”, “Schneider”, and especially “Irish Goodbyes”.

    *I thank Diana Goetsch for sending a complimentary copy of the book to me for reviewing purposes”.

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