About Trapline


You can read two reviews of Trapline here:

The Collagist

-The Rumpus

I am grateful to Donna de la Perrière, Stephanie Bolster, and Keith Ekiss:


 “The poem of the natural world, like nature itself, is threatened by harsh forces: sentimentality, obviousness, easy identification. The difficulty in writing about nature only makes the achievement of Trapline that much more remarkable and provoking. Goodwin sees nature and ourselves as we are in all our manifestations, intertwined and inseparable.” -- Keith Ekiss


About the book: 

I wrote the poems over many years. Some of them I wrote when I was pregnant with my first daughter Naomi (now 19) and living at a remote salmon research hatchery in Southeast Alaska: Little Port Walter, year-round human population: five. My husband worked there as a fish culturist. While there, I wrote the manuscript that I sent to the Stanford Creative Writing Program. Most of the poems in Trapline have been through many revisions and permutations since my time at Stanford. The idea for the title poem was the image of the lone traveler (fur trapper) in the hinterlands of the north.

My undergraduate work in field biology at Colorado College has served as a long-standing source of inspiration. I also consider my mother's home town of Sitka, Alaska when I write. On 11/29/2014, I was adopted into the Point House of the Kiks'adi Clan; my Tlingit name is Ts'anak, which was also the name of Jennifer Brady-Morales (1952 - 2010). Jennifer was a beautiful Tlingit carver and artist, mother, sister and daughter, and receiving her name is a true privilege. I think of Jennifer, my adopted family, and Sitka when I write and give readings and I am grateful for the spiritual connections and support.

My second daughter Josephine died in 2002 and is buried in Sitka, next to my maternal grandparents. Josephine was born with extensive internal anomalies and died just before she turned one, at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital here in California. During her short life, she underwent many surgeries, two of them liver transplantations. My writing practice is a way to build some order out of the day-to-day chaos in my heart and mind and to celebrate the fact that we are truly here just for a moment, in the end.  

© Caroline Goodwin 2013