So Late, So Soon, Carol Moldaw

About the Author

Carol Moldaw

Carol Moldaw, author of The Widening and So Late, So Soon (both from Etruscan, 2008, 2010), is also the author of four books of poetry: The Lightning Field (Oberlin College Press, 2003), winner of the FIELD Poetry Prize; Chalkmarks on Stone (La Alameda Press, 1998); Through the Window (La Alameda Press, 2002); and Taken from the River (Alef Books, 1993). A recipient of a Lannan Foundation Marfa Writer’s Residency, a Pushcart Prize, and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, Moldaw’s work has most recently appeared in AGNI, Provincetown Arts, and FIELD.

She lives in Pojoaque, New Mexico, with her husband and daughter, and taught at Stonecoast, the University of Southern Maine’s low-residency MFA program. In the Spring of 2011, she will be the Louis D. Rubin, Jr., Writer-in-Residence at Hollins University.

Find out more about Carol and how to interact with her on her author page.

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“In an age when literature often hinges on authorial self-construction, Moldaw’s work is a fascinating act of exploration.  The world she discovers is dazzling and scary, haunted and generous, ‘flagrant with expectancy.’” – Dennis Nurkse

From the earliest work to the substantial section of new poems that introduces So Late, So Soon: New and Selected Poems, Moldaw gives us poetry in which “matter and spirit meet, love,/argue, wherever you rest your eyes.” Aurally rich, structurally varied and inventive, sensually textured, these are poems at once passionate and analytical, descriptive and meditative, lyrical and complex—poems that keep one eye on the moon while leveling their gaze at the self and its immediate world. With an alert nuanced intelligence, a sinuous flexible line, Moldaw’s poems turn swiftly and sharply, surprising us in their range and ease, their visionary core. While, in the quoted words of the painter Agnes Martin, “the mind knows what the eye has not seen,” Moldaw’s exact and sometimes challenging language bring eye and mind together, with revelatory transparency. A wild fire brings into focus her daughter’s unknown birth mother; a columbary outside the hospital window becomes a columbarium as she comes to terms with a friend’s dying of AIDS; tossing the I Ching coins affords the occasion for a long meditative sequence built on distilled moments; overheard piano music catalyzes a reverie of longing; Walter de Maria’s sculpture Lightning Field inspires a layered, penetrating rumination on art and life’s “multi-angled interrelationships.” Out of acutely observed, deeply felt particulars, Moldaw constructs poetry of imaginative daring that illuminates and transforms the life within us all, repeatedly achieving, to quote from The New Yorker, “lyric junctures of shivering beauty.”

Publication date: June 2010

Read an excerpt of So Late, So Soon.