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Testimonials & Reviews for Doug Goetsch

Here are testimonials from Doug’s students at the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival, where he has taught for a dozen years. Also, at the end, are a several rave reviews in praise of his poetry.

“Douglas Goetsch is a born teacher. He brings a vast array of examples to every point. He is energetic about life, words and people. He was thoroughly organized in every presentation. Now to practice what he set before us…”
– Anne Gleason, Cincinnati, OH

“His expertise, knowledge and experience seemed phenomenal. His in-class humor, direction and exercises stimulated excellent discussion, creativity and production of new material… Doug did a great job adapting to my needs and working through problems individually.”
– Stuart Schurtz, Mason City, IA

“Doug knows how to lead a classroom and hold a container so the students can maneuver around in their own perplexity. I trusted this teacher not to coddle but also not to condemn. He wove us in and out, from our own writing to great poets’ writings, back to ourselves, back to the mentors.”

– Carole Urmy, Nashville, TN

“I would take Atomic Physics from Doug Goetsch—and be confident I’d learn. He is the most gifted teacher I’ve known. His efforts to help the class members get acquainted, to trust each other, to be honest and yet gentle enough were all masterful and appreciated. Everyone could write before we got here, and now we write better, with more energy and fun!”
– Mary Droscher, Melbourne, FL

“A superb teacher! I could take whatever he taught, every year, and never repeat the content. He’s always fresh and engaged and responsive, plus informed and funny. Doug should be teaching teachers—well I guess he is. Many of our group taught writing, including me.”
– Nancy Williams, Providence, UT

“Doug gets a lot done in a short time. Very well organized, has a plan, follows it, keeps all participants involved, provides tough but fair critiques in a non-threatening manner. He’s a simply superb workshop leader.”
– Arnie Johanson, Durham, NC

“Two things: 1) His service to students, relationship building and infinite generosity with his time; 2) His encyclopedic knowledge of poetry and ability to call up the absolutely illustrative poem at any moment.”
– Terry Krehbiel, Macomb, IL

“This was the most worthwhile one-week class I’ve ever attended. Doug Goetsch is the most helpful teacher I’ve ever had in poetry. His no bullshit approach with incisive criticism and lack of false praise is exactly what is needed for a developing poet.”
– Bill Quist, River Falls, WI

“He brought to the classroom an impressive acquaintanceship with a wide range of poets and added to his own critiques of our work a helpful frame of reference comparing poems of these writers with those we had submitted in advance… He set the standards high for our group. He worked us hard, gave us strong encouragement, he also succeeded in forging us into a community.”
– Joe Crowley, Reno, NV

“He is one of the best classroom teachers I have ever had through elementary, secondary, and three degrees of higher education.”
– Larry R. Hayward, Cedar Rapids, IA

***

Here are some noteworthy reviews & book cover blurbs for Doug’s poetry:

“It’s not just the way a Goetsch poem progresses from comedy to wisdom but the wonderfully tricky route it often takes getting there, moving from the truly bizarre or bizarrely commonplace through intersections of hilarity and cerebral brilliance to collide finally with some elusive truth that Socrates might have discovered by badgering people to death on the streets of Athens. This is not only Frost’s “momentary stay against confusion” but a semi-permanent defense against boredom and mindlessness in all their forms.  Douglas Goetsch is one of the most comically serious, hip (in the original Miles Davis/Lenny Bruce sense) poets we have and should be read by everyone immediately.”
– B.H. Fairchild

“How intense these poems are! And how relevant to our immediate lives. Over and over, reading them, I kept imagining hearing them read aloud–and the audience’s positive and thrilled reactions. All these words one uses for superior poetry apply: searing, honest, vivid, moving, unflinching. A glory of words and episodes and images.”
– Dick Allen

“The gritty naturalism of these poems would qualify them as “anti-lyrical” were it not for the mix of sweet nostalgia and bitter truth that gives them their pungent, winning flavor. It’s hard to imagine a reader who could resist Goetsch’s seductive opening lines.”
– Billy Collins

“Doug Goetsch is, without a doubt, an unbridled creative talent. His pinpoint lyricism and apparent reverence for craft stamp his work with a gorgeous signature, and he just gets better with every outing. These are poems of desire and disappointment, the magnificent and the mundane—and in Goetsch’s capable clutches, each one leaves an electric charge in the air. This is no misty-eyed look at where poetry has been or where it’s going. “The Job of Being Everybody” is where poetry should be, where it should have been all along.”
– Patricia Smith

 


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