Online in the Meantime

3.1 (episode 68) featuring MARY BARBARA MOORE!

This week’s Online in the Meantime marks the beginning of the third year of Bad Mouth’s online series! This monthly online series will be a continuing feature–with maybe some surprise additions coming–and the hope and intention of bringing back live, in-person events still, as well.

Mary B. Moore’s five poetry books include the full-length collections Dear If, Orison Books; Flicker, winner of the Dogfish Head Award; and The Book Of Snow, Cleveland State University Poetry Center;  the chapbooks are Amanda and the Man Soul (Emrys Prize, 2017) and Eating the Light (Sable Books Contest 2016). Her poems have won awards from NELLE, Terrain, Asheville Poetry Review and Nimrod and have appeared lately in Calyx, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Gettysburg Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, The Nasty Women Poets Anthology, and Fire & Rain, Eco-Poetry of California. She also wrote a critical study of women sonneteers and Petrarch, Desiring Voices, Women Sonneteers and Petrarchism, SIU Press, 2000. A native Californian, she lives in Huntington, WV with a philosopher and a cat. She retired from Marshall University where she taught Renaissance literature and writing, and has a brilliant daughter, an attorney in Northern California.

About this reading:

“As you’ll know from my reading and the book, Dear If—because surely you must have found it already at––my voice is both reverent and irreverent, and the poems’ speaker both believes and disbelieves. As to me, obsessed with Mary of Nazareth as a child growing up Roman Catholic, I hadn’t been able to write about her in a way that felt genuine and that gave me the sense of discovery and surprise I value in my own (and others’) poetry until I learned to place her in my world, as I first did in a sonnet called “Litany” now in the wonderful anthology Wild Gods, The Ecstatic in Contemporary Poetry and Prose edited by Joel Peckham and Robert Vivian. When Dear If began to seem like a thing, much of it written in April 2018, I missed the presence of my childhood icon, Mary.  Mary Szybist’s Incarnadine showed me how the events of Mary’s life could be contemporized, and how sharing Mary’s name could make an amazing poetic conceit. The first Mary poem, “Then She Is Rain,” came in a rush over a week; the writing of it was surprising, entrancing.  I felt the need, though, for a counter-voice on Mary, and my four-woman writing group––S Diane Wellmen, Marie Manilla, and Rachael Peckham––provided the lead element—“The Aviatrix.” Ess Diane made the lavender cocktail to honor Rachael Peckham’s manuscript, The Aviatrix, and to honor our shared belief in writing’s way of flying us to unexpected places. Its color obsessed me and tied in with other motifs in the ms, “The God of Lilacs,” the colors associated with my father’s hair in “Variations on Gray,” and the dawn mist of the now final poem, “Dear Blur and Dispersal. I wrote my way into the imagined amethyst rosary, the memory of “the fey Rieki practitioner” and “holycard Michael.” I hope it speaks to you. “

Visit Mary’s website here:

Watch Mary’s reading here!

Mary B. Moore


Rebecca at Bad Mouth

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