Vince Gotera

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Poet Laureate of Iowa, 2024–2026

Vince Gotera was born and raised in San Francisco and lived in the Philippines as a young child. He earned his MFA in poetry and a double PhD in English and American studies from Indiana University. He also studied at Stanford University and San Francisco State University.

Gotera is the author of The Coolest Month (Final Thursday Press, 2019); Fighting Kite (Pecan Grove Press, 2007); Ghost Wars (Final Thursday Press, 2003), which won the 2004 Global Filipino Literary Award in Poetry; Dragonfly (Pecan Grove Press, 1994); and Radical Visions: Poetry by Vietnam Veterans (University of Georgia Press, 1994). 

Gotera is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the 2006 Faculty Excellence Award by the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at the University of Northern Iowa; the 2012 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence from the Iowa Board of Regents; a Creative Writing Fellowship in poetry awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1993; the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry from The Madison Review; the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award in Poetry; and the Academy of American Poets Prize in 1988.

Gotera became a professor of creative writing and poetics at ​​​the University of Northern Iowa in 1995. Before this, he taught creative writing and ethnic American literature at Humboldt State University, where he directed the creative writing program. The former editor of the North American Review from 2000 through 2016, he also served from 2017 through 2020 as editor of Star*Line, the print journal of the international Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association.

In 2024, he was named Iowa’s fifth poet laureate, with a two-year term beginning on March 1. He lives in Waterloo, Iowa.