My Bucket List

July 26, 2017

Lists rule my life. I’m a dedicated list-maker. Every year I start a new 99-cent composition book in which I write everything I need to accomplish by day, week and month. A bucket list, however, is a different kind of list. Unlike my compendium of tasks, a bucket list is a bunch of things you want to achieve in life.

My bucket list might seem modest to some, and overly ambitious to others. Some of the items are travel-related, some are writing-related, and others are experiential, which will, I hope, lead to writing.

Erica Goss’s Bucket List

1. Do something significant to help people with mental illnesses.
2. Visit the grave of Sylvia Plath.
3. Hold the plank position for five minutes.
4. Conquer my insomnia.
5. Explore the past while simultaneously letting go of it.
6. Transform my property into a food forest.
7. Go river rafting again with my husband.
8. Achieve native-speaker fluency in German.
9. Visit Stonehenge at the summer solstice.
10. Make a living as a writer.
11. See the Northern Lights.
12. See the Grand Canyon in winter.
13. Visit the hospital in Mexico City where my mother was born.
14. Visit the hospital in Germany where I was born.
15. Visit every state in the United States.
16. Write a poem for every state in the United States.
17. Create dozens more videos.
18. Go geo-caching in Canada.
19. Write one poem every day.
20. Publish one book every two to three years for the rest of my life.


Erica Goss served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, California from 2013-2016. Her latest poetry collection, Night Court, won the 2016 Lyrebird Prize from Glass Lyre Press. She is the author of Wild Place (2012, Finishing Line Press) and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets (2014, Pushpen Press). 

As Poet Laureate for Los Gatos, she organized the first St. Patrick's Day Poetry Walk, created Poems-in-the-Window (local businesses displayed poems during National Poetry Month), recorded The Poetry Podcast (50-plus recordings of poems in a variety of languages), established the first Los Gatos Poet Laureate Scholarship, and launched The Poetry Kitchen, a poetry reading series at the Los Gatos Library. 

Erica's work is featured in numerous anthologies and journals, including Pearl, Ekphrasis, Main Street Rag, Café Review, Perigee, Dash Literary Journal, Eclectica, Up the Staircase, Lake Effect, Stirrings, Convergence, Passager, Atticus Review, Gravel, Tinderbox Review, Caveat Lector, Rattle, Zoland Poetry, Comstock Review, Contrary, and Innisfree Poetry Journal. She received the Many Mountains Moving Prize for poetry in 2011. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2010 and 2013, and received the first Edwin Markham Prize for poetry, judged by California Poet Laureate Al Young. Wild Place was also a finalist in the 2010 White Eagle Coffee Store Press Chapbook Contest, and received a special mention from Jacar Press's 2010 Chapbook Contest. 

Erica was the host of Word to Word, a Show About Poetry, on KCAT Cable TV in Los Gatos, and wrote The Third Form, a column about video poetry, for Connotation Press. She is the co-founder of Media Poetry Studio, a poetry-and-film camp for teen girls. Erica lives in Eugene, Oregon, and teaches classes in poetry and video.

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