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The Lightning Field
Carol Moldaw

FIELD Poetry Series

Oberlin College Press
2003 • 79 pp. 6 x 8 1/2"
Poetry - American

$14.95 Paperback, 978-0-932440-94-5

In her third collection, Carol Moldaw explores new territory in poems that are thematically far-reaching and technically superb. The book includes three long sequences based on art and artifact in various stages of completeness: preliminary pen-and-ink studies, Turkish ruins, and, at the center, the site-specific art installation that gives the book its title and impetus. Attracting charged material as a lightning field attracts lightning, the poems reference narrative but move beneath and beyond it through a restless and rewarding insistence on making and remaking, on seeing by degrees and seeing whole.

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From the Book:


The articulation of my bones
a bird’s, I woke not just not knowing
where or who but what I was:
my opened arm a wing in which she rested,
in the feathery half-dark
until that consciousness that’s always
roving, testing, that’s roving now,
striving to assemble an accurate report,
probed further into the feeling
and found me made of string and straw,
bits of silky floss licked together,
a nest shaped to fit her unfledged shape,
an account of ourselves I accepted
until daylight pried apart the louvers
and I discovered myself fingering
the soft stubble of her shaven hair.

The author of a novel and five books of poetry, CAROL MOLDAW has followed a rigorous writer’s path, recording with indelible passion the inscrutable, the sensual and intellectual. The recipient of a Lannan Foundation Marfa Writer’s Residency, an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize, Moldaw has taught for many writing conferences and university programs, including Stonecoast, the University of Southern Maine’s low residency M.F.A. program, and the M.F.A. program at Naropa University. She lives in Pojoaque, New Mexico with her husband and daughter.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:05:04 -0500