Larry Goodell


Here on Earth

59 Sonnets

80 pages

6 x 7 inches

ISBN: 1-888809-00-0




Larry Goodell is nearly legendary around The Region for poems, songs and performances unequalled in amazements and swirling magic. Personable, ornery and mystical as a shovel, as parsley chutney, as a piano—throughout the years he has been the muse and mentor for the agency of delight. Aptly called the “Aristophanes of the juniper/piñon scrublands” on his tongue exists a fervent valley, potluck and ecstatic. This is the leap of inspiration as faith—form applejacked in the shed with a poetics of hellspice, rosehip, and fresh galaxies birthed on the horizon. Behold these sonnets with roots in buttermilk sky, Gertrude Stein and boogie woogie—a selection of acrobatic verse, call them improvisational praise songs. Here on Earth.

Here and now on Earth, Larry Goodell’s work is exemplary in its sharp wistful humorous attention to the phenomena of mind and matter. If and when the species gets around to terraforming other planets, Here on Earth will be required reading for the pioneers of that enterprise. In the meantime, the rest of us are privileged to walk our minds through his garden of free-form sonnets, marveling at a flowering (but never flowery) record of brave verbal consciousness devoted to ‘this extended sentence of life,’ as it continues in the human settlement of Placitas.

—Anselm Hollo

Larry Goodell is one of the certain contemporary masters of the insistent and re-exploratory sonnet—the ‘little song’ born out of crosscultural ferment of Frederick II’s court in Sicily (as these emerge from the equally complex and fervent-fertile crosscurrents of presentday New Mexico)—to hold in the magic pace a sinkapace of concentration count: the constant and irreducible tensions of sacred and profane, exalted and colloquial, eternal and quotidian, caritas and passion, thought and flesh,
Here on Earth. The speaking I holds instant engagement: these are amongst the richest poems of the felt and feeling intellect, regulators and accusers, into the lifeof things—in all our present America across this finalé cut of the century.

—Kenneth Irby

In "Nah!," one poem in Larry Goodell's collection, the narrator explores different identities for himself, ticking off their titles and discarding them. One of them struck true for me as an apt description of the poet: "a lover of word tunes." A New Mexico native who makes his home in Placitas, Goodell's poetry rests heavily on the rhythm and musicality of the eclectic combinations of words he chooses. Thematically, the loosely-structured sonnets range from introverted reflections on writing to wonder at the New Mexico landscape. In some ways, the poetry's meaning is as subtle as the beauty of the desert landscape itself — instead of giving the reader a clear picture of his intentions in the poem, he provides a collage of images that leave an impression in the reader's mind.

— Julie Birnbaum


Born in Roswell, NM, and a resident of Placitas since 1963, Larry Goodell’s two main worlds are performing his poetry and inspiring writers through residencies in poetry writing. He feels the most basic challenge for poets now is introducing this art form to a wide audience outside of the traditional academic world and encouraging emerging writers and poets. His work as editor and publisher of duende press helps him accomplish these goals. Through his residencies, Mr. Goodell demonstrates the miraculous diversity of origins and reveals the oral power of poetry. He works together with his students to write and read and enjoy this oldest and newest subject – poetry. In his own words, "it all boils down to my entertaining and educating other people with the song-chant-word-play-lyric-satire-love-music-sentence-sung-poem writing that is my active life."He lives in Placitas with his wife Lenore.