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Poets: Greg Watson and Michael Kiesow Moore

Greg Watson All the World at Once

Greg Watson's poetry carries an everyday eloquence that harbors elements of mystery and sangfroid by turns. There are times when it's difficult to tell one from the other, as images and thoughts develop with even-tempered grace. He is a master at evoking the silences that grow between lovers, the emotional undertow of gentle rain, the allure of shadows, and the bitter-sweet power of memories and mute artifacts to keep us chained to the past.

The chief wonder of the body of work contained in this collection is how consistently playful and imaginative individual poems--many of them with seemingly dour subjects--turn out to be. The conceit at work may be architectural, as in ''Love Poem in Three Separate Rooms'' or ''In an Imaginary Barn Alone'' or it may be meterological, as in ''Mapping the Rain'' or ''Sounds Heard During an Afternoon Storm in September.'' There are occasional poems (''Elegy for the Hungry Mind Bookstore'') and love poems in which carnal elements develop a subtle metaphysical sheen (''When at Last Our Bodies Met''). One long sequence of short poems, ''Notes Upon the Silence,'' delves more pointedly into the Zen sensibility that often fuels the unexpected twists of the poet's more personal and literary themes.

Greg Watson's work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Seattle Review, Sulphur River Literary Review, and Poetry East. His earlier poetry collections are Pale Light from a Distant RoomThings You Will Never See Again, and The Distance Between Two Hands. He lives in Saint Paul.

Michael Kiesow Moore What to Pray For 

In this new collection, Michael Kiesow Moore brings imagination and insight to subjects drawn from personal history and cultural experiences ranging from cooking to dance, myth, and music. Childhood traumas and the persecution of those who are ''different'' provide the subtext for poems of sometimes surprising whimsy and freshness. Homey images sit side by side with scenes of angelic splendor, and compassion for troubled souls spurs theological reflections buoyed less by logic than passionate imagery. It's clear that the author has been moved and inspired by the efforts of others--Hockney, Nijinksy, Piazzolla--and his own poems extend that tradition in new directions. As fellow poet Deborah Keenan put is, Moore's poems strive to ''put mystery back in the moon.''

Michael Kiesow Moore is an award-winning writer of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, and author of the poetry collection What to Pray For (Nodin Press). Among many awards, he has received a Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship and a Loft Mentor Series Award, and received a nomination for the Pushcart Prize for poetry. He has published short stories, poetry, and essays in journals and magazines including The Saint Paul Almanac, Talking Stick,Rockhurst ReviewWater~Stone Review, Evergreen Chronicles, Peacework, The James White Review, Mpls. St. Paul Magazine, and in the book, A Loving Testimony: Losing Loved Ones Lost to AIDS. Most recently, he has poetry anthologized in Among the Leaves: Queer Male Poets on the Midwestern Experience.

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