Current finalist, Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award in poetry
In this collection of linked sonnets, a young woman wrestles with the expectations of her repressive upbringing and Southern culture. Raised by a jaded and critical mother and haunted by an absent father, she constructs the myths and truths of home, family, and marital love that confine and release her to navigate her own sexuality and capacity for intimacy.
"… a biting exploration of family and coming of age. The dad is gone but not exactly. The mom and “crazy aunt” form a fascinating (and at times humorous) duo. The cast is small and tight. As Goodman circles round and round her subjects it all becomes more complicated. Each sonnet here finds the author leaning carefully in over the microscope, one eye closed, remembering and re-remembering (and probably re-re-remembering) and recording it all with brilliant Petrarchan snap. What starts out as sifting through ashes ends up a tale of Phoenix rising."
—Michael Earl Craig, Talkativeness and Thin Kimono
"Each of her untitled Italian sonnets is linked to the one that comes before it with a single line, image or idea, creating something reminiscent of a garland or a necklace or a prayer flag. The result is a book of poems that can each stand alone gracefully as single beads, but reach their full potential when they flow together one after another." —Sarah Aswell, from her review in the Missoula Independent
These sonnets are each wonderfully linked with the previous ones by echoing a metaphor or literally repeating a key phrase but in a radically different tone and context. It is an elegant and impressive collection. —Daniel Casey, from his review in Seattle Book Review
"a sweeping and impressive project that delves into a personal mythos rich with memory, emotion, and trauma." —Erin Carlyle, Mid-American Review
"The collection as a whole is Southern Gothic. It is uncomfortable and transgressive. Transgressive because it is honest. Unflinchingly so." —Naomi Kimball, from her review in Atticus Review
Read the interview with Henrietta Goodman here.
Listen to Henrietta on the Write Question, Montana Public Radio KUFM's show about writers and writing.
Read the Adroit Journal interview with Henrietta Goodman
Read the review in Cleveland Review of Books
Read the review in A Review a Week by Lynn Domina
Henrietta Goodman is the author of two previous books: Hungry Moon
(Mountain West Poetry Series) and Take What You Want (Beatrice Hawley
Award, Alice James Books). Her poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Field,
New England Review, and other journals. She has attended the Marjorie Davis
Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, as well as residencies at the Atlantic
Center for the Arts and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. Originally
from North Carolina, she lives in Missoula, Montana.
Winner of the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, selected by Hilma Wolitzer The protagonists in When We Were Someone Else mostly feel b...
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