In his narrative poems, Gotera engages themes of family life and romantic love and uses vivid imagery and a range of formal and metrical constraints. He is the author of the poetry collections Dragonfly (1994) and Fighting Kite (2007) and the critical volume Visions: Poetry by Vietnam Veterans (1994). He has served as editor for North American Review and Asian America. In 1997, Gotera and Nick Carbó founded FLIPS, a listserv for Filipino/a literature and arts.
Gotera’s honors include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Mary Roberts Rinehart Award in Poetry, and a Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. He has taught at Humboldt State University and the University of Northern Iowa and lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.