Broad in scope—theological, ecological, and personal—and acutely particular in details—witnessed and lived—the affecting poems in Particular Scandals explore how one endures suffering, avoiding the clichés of both bitterness and transcendence. Thus, while Moore’s poetry depicts the debilitating ruin illness wreaks, it also embraces the beauty and mystery in creation, in faith, even in tribulation itself. At the book’s core is pure paradox and insightful integration, wedding Christmas—Christ’s incarnation and eventual, willing sacrifice—to pain and grief. Thus, on the heels of Moore’s multiple surgeries and amid her husband’s serious heart problem—both while in their forties—come “flashes of hallelujah” and songs knit with Amens “un- / broken, like a world without end.” Empathetic and observant, Moore’s evocative poems also turn their attention to friends’ and other family members’ appalling losses: a stillborn infant, suicidal adolescents, and molested and trafficked children. All in all, the book portrays how Moore survives like the Sycamore tree in one of her poems, “scabbed and scarred from moments like this,” offering her “empty self / like a cup to the Lord of the storm.”
“The scandal of this collection is it sizzles with such life, such particularity, such fierce pain and love, that you may not be able to put it down. Chatting about the weather, reflecting on ill health, estimating our chances of happiness, recounting adventures of a Labrador retriever and the astonishment of the incarnation, Julie Moore sounds as close as a friend. And yes, she is as trustworthy.”
Jeanne Murray Walker, author of New Tracks, Night Falling
“These are poems that span our daily lives and ask the hard metaphysical and theological questions living brings. . . . They are alert (without sentimentality or false transcendence) to the grace and beauty, both ordinary and commonplace, that open our hearts and mouths in hallelujah. I so admire these poems that quietly refrain from false claims and extravagances, but patiently bring us—in their detailed evocations—closer to [our] paradoxical and mysterious lives.”
Robert Cording, author of Walking with Ruskin
“What poetry can be made of [those] sufferings none of us want to live the first time around? Fine poetry, it turns out, that offers neither a romantic whitewash nor despairing doubt, but a series of beautiful particulars that offer clarity, beauty, and ‘amens’ in the midst of a world unlikely to change. Readers will be freshly charged to see joy in the scandal of living.”
Leslie Leyland Fields, editor of The Spirit of Food
“The poems of Julie Moore’s exhilarating collection, Particular Scandals, are poised ‘on the primal edge / of wonder.’ Musical and observant, attentive to the ‘mystery that envelops us,’ she glimpses the eternal in ordinary things, such as the birds she lovingly identifies, from vulture to white-breasted nuthatch. Even in a ‘universe of pain,’ she discovers how to praise, as any real poet must.”
John Drury, author of Creating Poetry
Ordering Particular Scandals
Purchase a copy of Julie’s newest book at any of the following locations:
- The Poiema Poetry Series by Cascade Books, an imprint of Wipf & Stock Publishers
- Barnes & Noble
A Book of Poems
Julie L. Moore’s observant, vivid, calmly moving poems are centered in her own home, in her own everyday life, but they radiate outward, taking in what’s distant, invisible, and hard to comprehend as well as what’s intimate and “in close proximity.” The ornamental pear tree that “slips / out of bloom” is emblematic of the insight that everything is in a process of becoming. Her courageous poems face death and inexplicable illness, finding themselves able to “buoy in the wake / of the passing day.” Through particular acts of noticing, paying attention to friends, family, and a life-list of creatures, she comes to a hard-earned faith, discovering “magnified / through sun and glass / reason for our being.”
The world’s stubborn strangeness, its painful loveliness, and the search for traces of God amidst its people and creatures—Julie L. Moore braids all of these obsessions beautifully together into these luminous, resonant, unflinching poems, and somehow finds hope for this world among it all.
The poems of Julie L. Moore’s Slipping Out of Bloom reveal an edge: fine, sharp, reflective, dangerous. She acknowledges lines that unite us and divide us yet lingers over the enchantment born from a fruitful blurring of those borders. Moore has lived to tell us about the places in our world where the delicate and the durable meet and merge. The sheer and piercing audacity of her words will wake you to the sound of your own breathing.
Eric Paul Shaffer
These poems are crafted from Julie L. Moore’s daily life—walking Maggie the dog, sawing up a beloved, fallen tree, playing Scrabble with her family, noticing how leaves are strewn like letters across a flat, Ohio lawn. Her poetry refrains from overstatement and extravagant gesture. It delineates many subtle colors on the palette of human suffering and faithfully documents nuances of joy. What a rare pleasure to read a book so honest, so humble, and so utterly trustworthy!
Jeanne Murray Walker
Praise for Slipping Out of Bloom
Cover by Ricky Normandeau
Published by Finishing Line Press, 2006
Available for purchase at amazon.com for $14 + s & h, or by contacting me personally (I’ll be glad to autograph it for you!)
In Election Day, Julie L. Moore unearths the beauty and frailty in both the natural world and the landscape of pain. Negotiating the often blurred boundaries between visible and invisible realities, her poems traverse the expanse between awe and uncertainty, perseverance and surrender, tough questions and even tougher answers.
Praise for Election Day:
“Like Keats, Julie L. Moore turns illness against itself, letting the agony and urgency of a body in distress cast a lovely and penetrating light over the surface of the world she moves through.”
– George Bilgere, winner of the 2006 May Swenson Poetry Award for Haywire
“Julie L. Moore wonders at the vast distance in the small spaces between us all, and she discovers that pain, our own and that of those we love, is a place where a good long look provides a perspective on what we must endure. ”
– Eric Paul Shaffer, winner of the 2002 Elliot Cades Award for Literature and author of Lahaina Noon
“Attentive to the natural world and human relations, resisting all easy consolations, Moore explores her own mysterious illness, a friend’s suicide, and the complex network of her life with clarity and insight. She discovers among the terrors and confusions of this life a tender music, a beauty ‘so intense, it didn’t look real’–and even the possibility of a tough-minded faith.”
– Jeff Gundy, author of Deerflies, winner of the 2005 Nancy Dasher Award
About Finishing Line Press:
Finishing Line Press is a critically acclaimed poetry publisher based in Georgetown, Kentucky. In addition to the Chapbook Series, of which Election Day is a part, it publishes the New Women’s Voices Series and sponsors the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition. Finishing Line Press and editor Leah Maines were featured in both the 2001 and 2002 Poet’s Markets.