Goodan, Kevin 1969–

views updated

Goodan, Kevin 1969–

PERSONAL: Born 1969, in MT. Education: Attended University of Montana; University of Massachusetts, M.F.A.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Alice James Books, 238 Main St., Farmington, ME 04938.

CAREER: Poet. Has lectured about terrorism at various universities; former employee of U.S. Forest Service.

AWARDS, HONORS: L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award, 2005, for In the Ghost-House Acquainted.


In the Ghost-House Acquainted (poetry) Alice James Books (Farmington, ME), 2004.

Poems have appeared in several publications, including Ploughshares.

SIDELIGHTS: Raised on an Indian reservation in Montana, Kevin Goodan is a poet whose first published collection of poems, In the Ghost-House Acquainted, focuses on the rural, farming life and the nature, animals, culture, and history associated with this type of life. For example, in the poem "Between Brightness and Weight," Goodan writes about the frost on nearby buildings and landscape. But Goodan's poems do not aim at presenting a mere sentimental image of rural life and nature. "Barn-cleaning," for example, tells of the necessity of and anger felt at having to kill an injured pigeon that falls from the barn rafters. Other poems involve a stillborn foal and a dead llama. Writing on the Bookslut Web site, Maria Halovanic commented that this "first collection of poetry … looks unflinchingly at the beauty and pain of living." Halovanic went on to praise the author's "sparse vocabulary," adding that "his voice is laconic, even soulful, making use of the same words and subjects as a carpenter makes use of well-worn tools. In the hands of a less-skilled craftsman, such repetition would be tiring." The reviewer also felt that Goodan's best quality as a poet is his ability to "gracefully illustrate … complex interactions in an unassuming and yet powerful voice." Comparing Goodan's style to that of poets Robert Frost and David Lee, David Hellman wrote in Library Journal that Goodan nevertheless "presents a unique voice." Hellman especially appreciated the poems in the second half of the book, which he claimed "make … for exhilarating poetry with vivid lines."



Library Journal, August, 2004, David Hellman, review of In the Ghost-House Acquainted, p. 85.


Bookslut, (June 26, 2005), Maria Halovanic, review of In the Ghost-House Acquainted., (June 26, 2005), brief profile of Kevin Goodan.