Margaret Hasse and Jim Moore present their books of poetry Summoned and Prognosis
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In her new collection of poetry, Hasse explores the sorrows and delights of daily life through narratives and ruminations enlivened by her lightning-quick imagination and her care in choosing just the right detail to achieve the desired effect. Her attention ranges widely, from the distant past, seen through a filter of nostalgia (as in Summer of Love, 1967 and Marijuana) to the humor and acceptance of aging that enliven the present, as in Medicare Birthday and After a Fall. Alongside such descriptive pieces we also come upon moments of reverie, as when, in Summoning My Dead Mother, Hasse inexplicably sees her mother at the kitchen table eating toast with honey--not her typical breakfast. The poem ends as mysteriously as it began: she's insubstantial as wind / that stirs a willow tree / washing its long hair in lake water / and blooming for the bees.
The natural world, from butterflies to moose, makes repeated appearances; more challenging is the sequence of poems scattered here and there throughout the volume that Hasse labels Another Day of Being White. Being the adoptive mother of two African American children gives her an unusually deep and personal perspective on the crosscurrents of inequity and strife that continue to weaken our social fabric.
Summoned is Hasse's sixth full-length volume. As poet Connie Wanek wrote: Where else will we find--not necessarily answers, but the right questions? Are people good? Is there a God? How far does empathy extend? In Hasse's work, humor and grief often share the same neighborhood, street, house, room, soul.
Jim Moore’s poems “are chips of reality, obsidian flakes of the heart and mind” (Jane Hirshfield)
In his eighth collection, the celebrated poet Jim Moore looks into unrelenting darkness where moments of tenderness and awe illuminate, at times suddenly like lightning in the night, at others, more quietly, as the steady glow of streetlights in a snowstorm. These are poems of both patience and urgency, of necessary attendance and helpless exuberance in the breathing world—something rare in contemporary poetry. Written in Minneapolis amid the COVID-19 pandemic’s masked and distanced loneliness, after the police murder of George Floyd, as an empire comes to an end, Prognosis turns toward the living moment as a surprising source of abundance. Here we find instances of essential human connection animated by a saving grace that pulls us back from depression and despair. Contemplating with playful wisdom what it is to brave the later years of one’s life, Moore revels in the possibilities of joy and mourns the limits of our capacity to greet the unknown with resolve and wonder. The prognosis Moore foresees demands continued stillness, continued movement: “Also known as going home,” he writes. “Also known as getting over yourself.”
About The Authors:
Jim Moore is the author of seven books of poetry, including Underground: New and Selected Poems. His poetry has appeared in The Nation, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Spoleto, Italy.
Margaret Hasse is a poet, teacher, and writing mentor, and has been a consultant to arts organizations throughout the country. She's author of six full-length collections of poems, a collaborative book with watercolor artist Sharon Demark, and a forthcoming chapbook of poems about Glacier National Park. With Athena Kildegaard, she edited an anthology of poems about motherhood.