Tom Goff


5133 Gibbons Drive
Carmichael, CA 95608

Author's Bio

I try to stay open to influence, and my influences are many: Robinson Jeffers, Shakespeare, Robert Browning, Donald Justice, James Merrill, Dana Gioia, Anne Stevenson, Robert Hass, Nora May French, Clark Ashton Smith, and Marie Ponsot are just a very few who have impressed me (and left a mark). I've studied with Dennis Schmitz, Harold Schneider, and Kathryn Hohlwein, among others. I'm a musician (trumpet), and music comes into my poetry, as with the English composer-poet Arnold Bax. Yet I hope my work is a good record of what the average Californian, average American might think if moved to write on the day's events public and private. Married to Nora Laila Staklis, artist and author of a poetry chapbook, The River Speaks.

Education: Bachelor's degree in music performance, Sacramento State University (1977). Master's degree in music performance, San Francisco Conservatory of Music (1979).

Publications & Prizes

The Sacramento Anthology: 100 Poems (Sacramento Poet Laureate Program, 2001)
Spectral Realms #14 (Hippocampus Press, 2021)
Sinfonietta (Rattlesnake Press, 2009)
Journals: , ,
Poetry Depth Quarterly
Tule Review
Prizes won: 

Winner of the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize for Poetry, 2021. Represented in Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, Scarlet Tanager Press (2018). 2 honorable mentions, Sacramento Poetry Center poem contest, 2006. 3rd place, Tiger's Eye poem competition, 2003. Co-edited the American River Review (Best in the Nation from the Community College Humanities Association, 1993). Two previous chapbooks, truenature (2006) and Sinfonietta (2009), selected for a Poets House showcase, as well as a full-length collection, Twelve-Tone Row: Music in Words (2018).

Personal Favorites

What I'm reading now: 
The Little Chapel in Donegal by Kathryn Hohlwein, Collected Poems, volume 1 by Robinson Jeffers, Selected Poems by Muriel Rukeyser, Denizens (referenced in Dana Gioia's "Studying with Miss Bishop") by Ronald Perry

More Information

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Sacramento, CA
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Last update: Jul 09, 2021