Celebrating the tension between what we imagine and what we know the world to be, Susan Leslie Moore's debut collection moves between certainty and doubt, dead seriousness and determined playfulness. Exploring identity and the exterior and interior selves we create through the natural world, language, and relationships, the poems of That Place Where You Opened Your Hands bring the ordinary rhythms of life and motherhood into coexistence with wilder truths. As Moore writes, "If I can't be singular / in purpose, let me be quietly adrift," but these are not quiet poems.
SUSAN LESLIE MOORE is a Portland-based poet and the director of programs for writers at Literary Arts. Moore's work has appeared in such outlets as Poetry Northwest, Willow Springs, New York Quarterly, and Quick Fiction, and she is coeditor of Alive at the Center: Contemporary Poems from the Pacific Northwest.
"From its beginning, I was compelled by That Place Where You Opened Your Hands
' intriguing intersections, its unpretentious surrealism, lonely wit, plainspoken musicality, and improvisational formalism. I am charmed by this speaker, this 'animal inside a ghost of those who came before me,' who takes us with her as she reaches over the threshold of the self's interiority into a numinous natural world."—Diane Seuss, author of Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl: Poems
"Moore is unafraid of rhyme's song, of poetry's brazen scales, of wanting to leave her life in order to see more, more widely. She wants to hover above; she practices a deadpan forthrightness and a prayerlike incantation. This is a wondrous book that leaves us understanding we must continue where it begins."—Dara Wier, Juniper Prize for Poetry judge and author of You Good Thing
"That Place Where You Opened Your Hands
is a debut poetry collection that deftly balances emotion, observation and declaration, filled with surprising and yet entirely understood lines."—Kenyon Review