In Wild Place, Erica Goss travels through one woman's experience of life, death and nature at its most terrifying. Rooted in the beautiful and sometimes deadly landscape of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Goss’s poems explore issues such as the death of a child, physical disabilities and PTSD, while describing the wonders of the natural world.
Spiritual awakenings happen in a parking lot; wry epiphanies while walking the dog, as in this quote from the poem “Dust of an Ordinary Star:” "The dog and I are getting older, looking more alike: sagging jaws and weird little tufts of hair. This bothers me more than her. Neither one of us is interested in chasing after men on motorcycles anymore." In “Scraps,” a daughter realizes the pain she has caused her mother, whose gifts of unwanted food echo the hunger she experienced as a child: “You scoured torn streets with your little bag / while your mother and sisters lay quietly starving.”
Although the dead and the living dwell side by side in this collection, the poet's love for her family, home and the state of California, with all of its tarnished glamour, shines through.