In his new collection, The Song Castle, Michael Kiesow Moore ably negotiates the crosscurrents of lamentation and hope. He makes use of ancient myths, contemporary newspaper headlines—both real and imagined—and such quotidian events as holding hands in a park to paint a portrait of modern life that’s beautiful, troublesome, and full of mystery. We accompany him on an evening of quite conversation in a bar—pie night, no less!—that seems a lot like heaven, and through surreal daydreams during which boredom turns hallucinatory.
The book ends with a Whitmanesque hymn of praise to teachers, scholars, musicians, wise ones, and many others who contribute, often at great personal cost, to the continuing freedom and enlightenment of social and personal spaces. As poet Jim Moore succinctly puts it: “The project of these poems is to make love material.”
Michael Kiesow Moore is the author of the poetry collection, What to Pray For (Nodin Press). He was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and grew up in Florida and Maryland. He has made Minnesota his home for many years and now lives in Saint Paul. His work has appeared in numerous journals including Poetry City, Water~Stone Review, The James White Review, and in anthologies such as Queer Voices (Minnesota Historical Society Press), Lovejets: Queer Male Poets on 200 Years of Walt Whitman (Squares & Rebels), and Fierce Lament (Red Bird Chapbooks). His honors include a Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship, a Loft Mentor Series Award, and an artist residency at Kalani Retreat Center in Hawai’i. He is active in Twin Cities literary arts, founding both the Birchbark Books Reading Series and the Loft Peace and Social Justice Writers Group, and serving on the board of directors at Cracked Walnut. He teaches creative writing classes in the Twin Cities at various locations including the Loft Literary Center.