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The poet and ASU professor of English Beckian Fritz Goldberg, whose work has been described by Jean Valentine as a “fierce homage to the body and to the spirit,” retired this past summer after nearly thirty years of service. ASU had been her home since the late ‘70s and early ‘80s when she studied here as a student under the poets and ASU Regents’ Professors Norman Dubie and Alberto Ríos. She later joined professors Dubie and Ríos as a colleague in the Creative Writing Program after completing her MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College in 1985.
Goldberg’s dedication and service to her students is well-known. She has been a favorite, teaching forms of poetry and workshops for both undergraduates and graduates, and leading workshops in the community. Among her MFA students, she was a voice of encouragement and of steady guidance. Her wit and practicality made learning from her a treat and a privilege.
Beyond the classroom, Goldberg is a powerful figure in the poetry community. Her essay “Order & Mojo: Some Informal Notes on Getting Dressed” has been praised by the poet Anna Journey for its “humor, wisdom, and clarity,” and Goldberg, herself, has been praised by Journey for Goldberg’s “bold associations, her startling images, her irreverent tones, and her interest in fusing lyrical beauty within realms of the grotesque.”
Goldberg is the author of several collections of poetry, including Body Betrayer (Cleveland State UP, 1991), In the Badlands of Desire (1993), Never Be the Horse (U of Akron P, 1999), winner of the 1999 Akron Poetry Prize, Lie Awake Lake (Oberlin College Press, 2005), winner of the 2004 FIELD Poetry Prize, The Book of Accident (Univ. of Akron Presss, 2006), Reliquary Fever: New and Selected Poems (New Issues, 2010), and Egypt from Space (Oberlin College Press, 2013).
Her work has appeared in such anthologies and journals as The American Poetry Review, The Gettysburg Review, Harper's, Indiana Review, The Iowa Review, The Best American Poetry 1995, New American Poets of The 90s, and American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary American Poets. She is the recipient of the Theodore Roethke Poetry Prize, The Gettysburg Review Annual Poetry Award, The University of Akron Press Poetry Prize, The Field Poetry Prize, and a Pushcart Prize.
Video of Goldberg reading by Bruce Matsunaga from an event held on Nov. 17, 2015