It is with great pleasure that we announce today the winner of the Grace Paley Teaching Fellowship: Diana Goetsch.
Goetsch is an award-winning poet and essayist whose 2015-16 American Scholar column “Life in Transition,” she says, was her opportunity to document her coming out as a trans woman “as a service to a battered community.” Mentored by the great William Zinsser, who also contributed regularly to the American Scholar, Goetsch believes her writing there meant “practicing in a sacred space.”
Goetsch, who has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts (2012), has published eight books of poetry, with credits in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Poetry, Iowa Review, Antioch Review, Prairie Schooner, and many, many other magazines and journals.
Also impressive is her record of teaching, including 21 years in the NYC public schools, at both Stuyvesant High School and Passages Academy in the South Bronx, where she founded a creative writing program for the school’s population of incarcerated juveniles. She has taught in higher education at the University of Central Oklahoma, Western Kentucky University, and Oklahoma City University, where she was a part of the core MFA faculty.
Goetsch offered these thoughts about meeting Grace Paley: “I met Grace Paley once, in 2002. I was teaching at the Frost Place in New Hampshire, and she’d come for a one-day visit. Ever since reading Enormous Changes at the Last Minute I’d admired her immensely, as someone who wrote, not just with complexity and wisdom, but with her life. I sat with her at dinner and we spoke throughout the meal. I can’t say that anything momentous happened, only that her presence was remarkable, at once burnished and gritty, like her writing. Her eyes were watchful and friendly, her Bronx accent plain as day.”
We’re very excited to welcome her to teach with us in the Fall 2017.