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Literature & Fiction - Poetry

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Dear If

ISBN: 9781949039306
Binding: Paperback
Author: Mary B. Moore
Pages: 120
Trim: 6” x 9” inches
Published: 4/5/2022

Grounded in nature and the body's knowledge of death, Mary B. Moore's fifth poetry collection queries the divine, evoking its traces in doubt, dread, and awe; in language's music and its ability to make be; in earth's prismatic effulgence and its cataclysm and charism. Inventive in image, metaphor, and wordplay, Moore mourns belief and its loss. Moore's poems are influenced by Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore in their keen eye toward the natural world, and by John Donne, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Mary Szybist in their ardor to stretch language to address the sacred.


Mary B. Moore is the author of the full-length poetry collections Flicker (Dogfish Head Award, Broadkill River Press, 2016) and The Book of Snow (Cleveland State University Press, 1997), as well as the chapbooks Amanda and the Man Soul (Emrys Award, 2017) and Eating the Light (Sable Books Prize, 2016). She is also the author of the scholarly volume Desiring Voices: Women Sonneteers and Petrarchism (Southern Illinois University Press, 2000). Moore's poems have appeared in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, 32 Poems, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, Catamaran, Nelle, Nimrod, and Birmingham Poetry Review, among other places. A native Californian with a Ph.D. in Renaissance poetry and prose (University of California, Davis), she taught poetry, Shakespeare, and writing at Marshall University. She is married to the philosopher John Vielkind.


"The way one clocks spring moving northward in the coifs of the trees or collects the baseball card of a player bound for the Hall of Fame, cognoscenti of poetry will mark Dear If as Mary B. Moore's emergence as a writer bearing the earmarks of a major American poet. A self-avowed agnostic and ex-Catholic, Moore wrestles with the orthodox concept of a Triune godhead, apprehending a more palatable presence that she is willing to entertain in the dear here of trees, birds, and cloud. [...] Her rapier deployment of conceit, metaphorical density, and word-music mark Moore as a contemporary American Metaphysical." - Lise Goett

"Mary B. Moore's poems have always been deeply contemplative and brave, marked by the sonic and inventive brilliance of her craft. Dear If extends this legacy, gifts us with new poems that confront and transcend the often-debilitating weight of doubt and uncertainty, especially when it comes to faith and health. [...] I'm sure this book will leave you stunned and transformed as well, its music continuing to reverberate through your heart long after you've read its last lines." - Faisal Mohyuddin

"'Oh look…dear gaudy blue, dear if / and rift, dear void,' writes Mary B. Moore and, oh look, dear reader, how this poet is restless and questing, insisting on a new seeing of everything from the seed head of a sycamore to 'the cloud snit, snow thistle.' Oh listen to one who is as much a daughter of Hopkins as of the mother these poems so often invoke, her rhymes packed plentiful and tight as a peony's petals." - Jessica Jacobs