The Patricia Goedicke Poetry award celebrates the impact of a strong writing influence in Montana. Patricia Goedicke taught at the University of Montana from 1982 to 2003 and was named one of the University’s “Distinguished Scholars.” Her classes, workshops, and mentoring attracted a strong following of writers which has contributed to Missoula’s exceptional literary and art cultures.
She published many books, one, As Earth Begins to End, was chosen as one of the top 10 poetry books of 2000 by the American Library Association. Another of her books titled The Tongues We Speak was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has received many awards and honors and had many accomplishments, but none is greater than how she helped build a younger generation of writers in Missoula. Caroline Patterson, writer, editor, and teacher, describes Patricia Goedicke’s impact on Montana writers in this way: “Patricia Goedicke was a mentor of mine. She lived for poetry, working daily from 7 a.m until 2 p.m. The front table in her living room was piled high with literary anthologies and new books of poetry, which she read assiduously. Her enthusiasm for poetry—indeed for the written word in general—inspired scores of new poets, many of Montana’s finest. Her work spills forth with courage, resilience, and musicality—and is driven forward by rhythm and her restless curiosity. Indeed, Patricia herself bursts forth into the world like her favorite flower, the peony, always ready for the poem, the new adventure.” Patricia Goedicke’s poetry was rooted in memories and family. Through “The Patricia Goedicke Poetry Award,” we hope to also create a memory of her contributions to share her writing with everyone.