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O Body Swayed, Poems by Berwyn Moore
Overcoming the body's daily diminishments and limitations, the poems of Berwyn Moore’s O Body Swayed soar—yet they are also embodied, given shape and weight by the elegance of Moore’s rhythmic lines.
“To read O Body Swayed is to embark on a remarkable journey with a guide who takes nothing in the physical world for granted. Her narrative poems bring characters to life in a flash. Whether she's writing about the bones of a salmon, or illness, or loss, or the soil we walk on, Berwyn Moore combines illuminating metaphors with the minute observations of a scientist.”—Nancy Willard
“Berwyn Moore’s book-length sequence on the body offers many surprises, such as the church in the Czech Republic where ‘garlands of skulls/hang from the ceiling.’ In her ten-poem send-up of 7th-century poet Semonides, she answers his misogyny with wit and wordplay, finding in the pig’s cleverness a ‘divine swine’ and in the dog’s tongue a ‘joyful baptism.’ On the struggling body, Moore declares, ‘we are/ a hodgepodge of misplaced and broken parts’; with these carefully-crafted poems, she invites readers to love and mourn and celebrate the changing bodies in which we live.”—Robin Becker
“Berwyn Moore's O Body Swayed is compelling. She engages the human spirit at its deepest levels of intimacy. Ms. Moore inhabits us with nature in ways so few poets are able to accomplish. And her writing delivers what may be the single most important awareness of the human condition—that we are connected not so much by our strengths, but rather, by our woundedness. The poems we were so privileged to present to our readership rank among the strongest of all the poems we have ever published. She rewards her readers immensely in this riveting collection.”—Robert Nazarene, founding editor, MARGIE / The American Journal of Poetry
“Berwyn Moore knows how to convey physical presence. This gift, increased by the confidence of a successful first collection, Dissolution of Ghosts, insures that everything in her second, O Body Swayed, comes alive. The rewards are all there for the reader. At times the very bones leap out of the bonfire to enjoy new life, birds flying form a body itself in flight.”— Michael Mott
Berwyn Moore’s poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Poetry Northwest, Nimrod, Margie: American Journal of Poetry, JAMA, Bellevue Literary Review, and other journals and are posted on The Best American Poetry and An American Life in Poetry web sites. Her collection of poems, Dissolution of Ghosts, was runner-up for the Lyre Prize and published by Cherry Grove Collections in 2005. She is the recipient of awards from the Bellevue Literary Review, Margie: American Journal of Poetry, The Pinch, Negative Capability Press, and the Chester H. Jones Foundation, and her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. In August 2009, she was named the first Poet Laureate of Erie County, Pennsylvania. She is an associate professor of English at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband, Robert Brooker, and their daughter, Emma Grace.
ISBN 978-1934999776, 80 pages