Laura Moriarty

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Laura Moriarty

Laura Moriarty was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1952. She has published eleven books of poetry, a short novel, Cunning (2000), and a novel of science fiction, Ultravioleta (2006), described by Publisher’s Weekly as “sweet Borges-like thought experiments meet Philip K. Dick paranoia, with strands of science fiction, romance, pulp noir, fairy tale and the American road novel…this mission is as keenly ambitious as it is successful.”

Her most recent books of poetry are Self-Destruction (2004) and A Semblance: Selected & New Poetry 1975-2007 (2007). She received a Poetry Center Book Award in 1984 for her collection, Persia (1983). She has also been awarded a Gerbode Foundation grant, a residency at the Foundation Royaumont in France, a New Langton Arts Award in Literature, and a grant from the Fund for Poetry. Moriarty has taught at Mills College and Naropa University, among other places, and from 1986-1997 she was Archives Director at the American Poetry Archives at the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University. She is currently Deputy Director of Small Press Distribution in Berkeley, California.

That Explode Together

It gets worse It gets better
The words seem to shrink
He writes about his experience
I write about mine
Song lyrics on her lips
Make the same sound
The automatic movements were the ones
Isolated like notes
I tell everything in plain words
Thinking against the action
The body changes what is said
I also write in zeroes
The flexibility is exact
He reads as if the words were his
He treats the book like an accordion
She belongs to El Diablo he sings
Over and over they agree
He tears it apart acapella
Her nerves are numbered like stars
Too distant to record



Reading with Elizabeth Robinson | February 19, 2008