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About the Author

Kevin Goodan earned his BA from the University of Montana and worked as a firefighter for ten years with the U.S. Forest Service before receiving his MFA from University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2004. Goodan's first collection of poetry, In the Ghost-House Acquainted (2004), won The L.L. Winship/ PEN New England Award in 2005. Goodan's poems have been published in various journals, including Ploughshares, the Colorado Review, and The Mid-America Poetry Review. His second collection, Winter Tenor, was published in 2009. He currently teaches at Lewis-Clark State College and resides in Idaho.


"[Anaphora has] heart-searing intensity. . ." --Library Journal

". . . what is most remarkable about Anaphora is that it seems to have invented an almost entirely new way of processing trauma through art. . . as if the reader has been handed a thousand shards and must reconstruct an experience, a life, from its fragments." --Ploughshares

"Anaphora matters artistically, politically, and historically, and is especially welcome now, when writers with close ties to long-marginalized groups need to be heard with more urgency than ever." --The Rumpus

"...a fiery litany of elegiac poems." --The Arkansas International Review

"Suicide is its own River Styx. Its grief, a particular and dangerous passage that requires of its journeyman something like a second kill, a letting go of the life once assumed as understood. In Anaphora, Kevin Goodan's guide across is his dead cousin Jimmy, half-white, half-Salish, who, when he faced his terror of being gay, found his rescue in a noose. To make this trip and survive it, Goodan has done what the rest of us are too broken to do: he has learned the language of the dead. Each shocking turn of line and word found herein is not only a formal achievement on the highest order, but a rocking boat that carries us to hell and back, hell and back, until we have nothing left but what we ever had: the trip itself. Anaphora is a work of Art. Every time I read this book, I am left breathless, I am changed." --Rebecca Gayle Howell

"How many elegies can one man carry? And continue to sing. Kevin Goodan writes his palm- sized poems, his psalms to resurrect the dead, so his dead may once more live: "my cousin's tired of hanging....we cut the rope and burn the rope." These are powerful poems forged out of grief and respect with a fierce and necessary remembrance," for "the methed out ghost towns/to which our childhoods/ will always belong." It is not about moving on this book argues, it is about never letting our gone friends disappear." --Sean Thomas Dougherty

"Poems in Kevin Goodan's Anaphora leap into grief head-on and with fervor, rather than in submission. The energy and electricity of language and iteration build a new elegy, one that resembles anger and fire as much as despair. " --Natalie Diaz

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