Who That Divines

Laura Moriarty. Nightboat (UPNE, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (132p) ISBN 978-1-937658-19-9
Moriarty (A Tonalist) calls upon a wide range of poetic styles to explore the connection between agency and the divine in her latest collection. Opening with a Luce Irigaray epigraph—“Divinity is what we need to become free, autonomous, sovereign”—Moriarty looks at the divine broadly, considering in her poems divinity arises from sources and structures of power of all kinds, not just gods, and focusing especially on acts of divination, both in the traditional sense and in more expansive acts of discovery, seeing, and knowing. Brief, tightly-wound lyrics examine the authorial position, asking “how not to go/ Hunted haunted// Divine undaunted/ With you as reader.” Many of the poems have dedications or epigraphs, foregrounding a conceit of Moriarty’s generative process but, more importantly, marking language that did not originate with the author herself. The book’s many threads come together in “In the Air Force,” a long autobiographical poem that tracks “1 body” coming of age amid the “Preexisting condition/ Eternall War.” Through trenchant observations about knowing and being in lines like “Signs of impending rain/ Exist/ Rain itself/ Exits,” Moriarty makes direct inquiries into the most basic structures of human experience, venturing that “All of creation/ Takes part/ In the same nothing.” (June)
Reviewed on: 06/16/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
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