Joee Goheen

Nonfiction | Cleveland State University | Class of 2023

Our Bodies Like Rivers is an essay collection that meditates on the geographical and psychological landscape of home, Appalachia, climate change, and the anxieties and ironies of living in the Anthropocene. From environmental catastrophe to the opioid crisis to the plight of consumers, to the health and subtle changes of home and the ones we love, these essays all point to an interconnectedness. Our collective sickness and health is a body of water, without boundary or distinction. This work guides us through the wreckage of modern society and seeks to show us how we might go on.


About Joee

Joee Goheen is a writer from West Virginia. She writes predominantly nonfiction. Joee earned her Bachelor's degree from Marshall University in English Creative Writing and German, with a minor in Religious Studies. She started the NEOMFA program in Fall of 2020 to further herself as a writer and earn her MFA. She has worked as a graduate assistant for Cleveland State University Poetry Center for the past two years and cherishes her time there, as well as her time in the NEOMFA program learning from so many talented writer-friends and mentors. She plans to continue working in academia, and of course, to write.

What’s on your nightstand right now?

I/I by Katherine Indemaur, published this past year by Seneca Review

Rebbeca Gayle Howell’s poetry book, American Purgatory, published by Eyewear Publishing

The Stories of Breece D’J Pancake 

Hilary Plum’s Hole Studies

Do you have any eccentric habits/strategies to get you started writing? What are they?

I walk. Or run.
Sometimes I'll accidentally say something out loud to myself or revise a sentence out loud without meaning to, which is the eccentric (or crazy) part.

What are your favorite words? Why?

“Schwuppdiwupp” – it’s something my Oma says and it’s incredibly fun to say. She usually uses it to describe something that happens instantly or quickly.
“Then the fried potatoes went schwuppdiwupp onto the floor, can you believe it?”

“Hyysop” – it’s fun to say. Mostly because it begins with “hiss,” but also because the beginning and end syllables sound so starkly different from each other for such a short word which makes it super punchy. Hyssop is also a pretty flowering plant that smells nice, so there’s that association as well.

“chitin “ - it’s just a cool word that’s also short and punchy.

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Cleveland State University
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