Treading Water, Icebergs

Annie Goold


ISBN 978-1-956005-53-0           80 pages              $16.00


Treading Water, Icebergs, a mythopoetic self-creation story that takes place in the speaker's childhood, a psychiatric hospital, and the family's Illinois farm, burnt by fire, takes the reader on a journey of perception--hers, others, and that of her father, his memory compromised by Alzheimer's. Resounding with the thrills of lyric experimentation ("sight-glaciers," a "final gelid slit") as well as narrative reportage from the scenes of a destabilized reality, this emergent voice-- determined to float or swim, and not drown--delights in the fractures of meaning and sense, and of identity and representation, with a poet's confidence in making sounds and images, at last, cohere. A "reincarnation adventure" of the highest order, Goold shows the reader "how to distinguish where worlds meet," with a deft musicality and earthly, sensory exactitude recalling Niedecker, Bishop, and Plath. Whether planting bulbs, caregiving, questioning consciousness and systems, or painting rain, this is a new pastoral with able footing both in late modern and postmodern idioms ("you don't need/ metaphor to see the animal that you are"), one that delivers what it promises: to endure, love, and abide.

   Virginia Konchan



Annie Goold’s Treading Water, Icebergs shows empathic tension in its textures, tangles, and clusters. With an intense bravery, Goold treads caring for an aging father, mental illness, suicidality, and the transformation of the self. These poems’ dense, knotty language effortlessly splices clarity with invention. This is a book about using poetry for psychological resoluteness. Her language is the native tongue of her alone.

   Sean Singer


Annie Goold is from a small farm in central Illinois. Her work has appeared in Matter, Electric Literature, The Paddock Review, GASHER, Fatal Flaw Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. She graduated with an MFA in Poetry from Cornell University in 2017. She lives and writes in Urbana, IL