Granite State poet who fought fires is hardwired to think about wildfire, even in New Hampshire’s green forests

  • Source: New Hampshire Public Radio
  • Published: 11/24/2021 12:00 AM

Granite State poet Kevin Goodan is putting his experience fighting fires onto the page in “Spot Weather Forecast.” Goodan lives in Meriden and teaches at Colby-Sawyer College. He joined the US Forest Service “hotshot crew” when he was 18. Hotshot crews fight some of the most dangerous wildfires, and he secretly kept a small notebook in his pocket where he wrote down words that came to him in between fires. “You begin to understand [fire] in terms of intelligence,” says Goodan. “And so it becomes, you know, that you're working with and against this living thing. It breathes, it eats.” Decades after leaving the Forest Service, Goodan was compelled to return to his experience. “There were people that I knew and worked with that were lost through fire and through cancer and through accidents outside of the firefighting world,” Goodan says. “And so in a way, it's kind of an elegy for those people that I worked with.”


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