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The Veronica Maneuver

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Jennifer Moore's debut collection takes its title from a bullfighting technique in which the matador draws the bull with his cape; in these poems, however, traditional moves are reconfigured and roles are subverted. In a broader sense, the word "veronica" (from the Latin vera, or "true" and the Greek eikon, or "image") functions as a frame for exploring the nature of visua Jennifer Moore's debut collection takes its title from a bullfighting technique in which the matador draws the bull with his cape; in these poems, however, traditional moves are reconfigured and roles are subverted. In a broader sense, the word "veronica" (from the Latin vera, or "true" and the Greek eikon, or "image") functions as a frame for exploring the nature of visual experience, and underscores a central question: how do we articulate events or emotions that evade clear understanding? In order to do so, the figures here perform all manner of transformations: from vaudeville star to cartoonist's daughter, from patron saint to "Blue-Eyed Torera;" they are soothsayers, apothecaries, curators, often conjuring selves out of thin air. This dilating and "shape-shifting" of perspective becomes a function of identity: "the absorber and the absorbed become one." Indeed, both speaker and listener must be crafted-willed into being-by each other ("Be your own maestro"), and are apparitions until then. Through a flick of the wrist or a trick of the eye, these speakers understand that construction of a self comes only through performance of that self—which performances are often punctuated with a wink, an unswerving gaze, or both at once. PRAISE FOR THE VERONICA MANEUVER In The Veronica Maneuver, each poem is a flammable mouth that refuses to be muzzled. Dazzling and dislocating the reader with ventriloquism, vaudevillian gowns, and sword swallowing, the book’s arresting tone is established by its torero title and first line—“In the Year of Our Lord the Electric Chair.” The sizzle, hazard (and humor) of Moore’s work dilates as she dismantles the commonplace with deft conjuring. Negotiating a space for women’s voices that is electric and multivalent, her poetry pivots on “making maneuvers look effortless,” and she is a masterful matador, unfurling the vibrant cloth of her poems to challenge and rouse us. These are “blood-dance” evocations deserving to be heard. —Simone Muench Jennifer Moore cuts right to the marrow and in so doing finds the marrow’s song. “Doesn’t each history,” she asks, “contain another body?” Perhaps this is her way of showing that our humanity is revealed in our woundedness. Yet in Moore’s lushly musical poems, it also means something stranger, mysterious—yes, something magical. The harmonies that fulfill these poems know grief as well as wit, intelligence, and empathy. This poet incises language with passion, not dispassion, until breath and pulse coalesce. In this fine book, “the absorber and the absorbed become one.” —Elizabeth Robinson

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Jennifer Moore's debut collection takes its title from a bullfighting technique in which the matador draws the bull with his cape; in these poems, however, traditional moves are reconfigured and roles are subverted. In a broader sense, the word "veronica" (from the Latin vera, or "true" and the Greek eikon, or "image") functions as a frame for exploring the nature of visua Jennifer Moore's debut collection takes its title from a bullfighting technique in which the matador draws the bull with his cape; in these poems, however, traditional moves are reconfigured and roles are subverted. In a broader sense, the word "veronica" (from the Latin vera, or "true" and the Greek eikon, or "image") functions as a frame for exploring the nature of visual experience, and underscores a central question: how do we articulate events or emotions that evade clear understanding? In order to do so, the figures here perform all manner of transformations: from vaudeville star to cartoonist's daughter, from patron saint to "Blue-Eyed Torera;" they are soothsayers, apothecaries, curators, often conjuring selves out of thin air. This dilating and "shape-shifting" of perspective becomes a function of identity: "the absorber and the absorbed become one." Indeed, both speaker and listener must be crafted-willed into being-by each other ("Be your own maestro"), and are apparitions until then. Through a flick of the wrist or a trick of the eye, these speakers understand that construction of a self comes only through performance of that self—which performances are often punctuated with a wink, an unswerving gaze, or both at once. PRAISE FOR THE VERONICA MANEUVER In The Veronica Maneuver, each poem is a flammable mouth that refuses to be muzzled. Dazzling and dislocating the reader with ventriloquism, vaudevillian gowns, and sword swallowing, the book’s arresting tone is established by its torero title and first line—“In the Year of Our Lord the Electric Chair.” The sizzle, hazard (and humor) of Moore’s work dilates as she dismantles the commonplace with deft conjuring. Negotiating a space for women’s voices that is electric and multivalent, her poetry pivots on “making maneuvers look effortless,” and she is a masterful matador, unfurling the vibrant cloth of her poems to challenge and rouse us. These are “blood-dance” evocations deserving to be heard. —Simone Muench Jennifer Moore cuts right to the marrow and in so doing finds the marrow’s song. “Doesn’t each history,” she asks, “contain another body?” Perhaps this is her way of showing that our humanity is revealed in our woundedness. Yet in Moore’s lushly musical poems, it also means something stranger, mysterious—yes, something magical. The harmonies that fulfill these poems know grief as well as wit, intelligence, and empathy. This poet incises language with passion, not dispassion, until breath and pulse coalesce. In this fine book, “the absorber and the absorbed become one.” —Elizabeth Robinson

45 review for The Veronica Maneuver

  1. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    Dr. Moore is my Creative Writing teacher this semester and we are beginning our unit on poetry, so I thought I should actually read more poetry and check her collection out! I am not a huge poetry fan. I have read my fair share of poems and I've never like, hated any, but I just really have a hard time enjoying them. I often feel lost or confused when reading poetry and I just have a hard time connecting to it. With that said, I really enjoyed The Veronica Manuever because all of the poems were v Dr. Moore is my Creative Writing teacher this semester and we are beginning our unit on poetry, so I thought I should actually read more poetry and check her collection out! I am not a huge poetry fan. I have read my fair share of poems and I've never like, hated any, but I just really have a hard time enjoying them. I often feel lost or confused when reading poetry and I just have a hard time connecting to it. With that said, I really enjoyed The Veronica Manuever because all of the poems were very lovely. They were all so beautifully written and raw. The imagery and details were so rich and vibrant that I could easily visualize everything and understand it. I could see a story emerge within and that's that part I love. I need it to tell a story or create a picture that I can see, which is what these poems did for me. Dr. Moore is so talented, which is obvious in class, but it was lovely getting a chance to actually read her book and see a little bit of the writer side of her rather than just the teacher side.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brie McGirr Proofreading

    I was fortunate enough to be selected to win this book on one of Goodread's giveaways and I couldn't be more pleased! This book makes you see the world in a poetic way and I hope to read more of Jennifer Moore's work again soon!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    Smart poems with carefully chosen words and unique images. My favorite is "Instructions for Going Unnoticed."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ivy

    Excellent, but I expected as much. If this makes any sense, Moore has the (excellent) ability to capture a moment, idea, or place through inspecting objects and small details. Definitely worth a read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I'm not a huge fan of the poetic approach/style of these poems, but I do think it's a very well constructed collection, and I absolutely love "Domestic Study (I)."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  8. 5 out of 5

    Arlena Lockard

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jake Marion

  11. 4 out of 5

    Charles

  12. 5 out of 5

    Madelaine Pope

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heather Derr-Smith

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kennedy O'brien

  16. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Moore

  17. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ann Ellis

  19. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  21. 5 out of 5

    Angie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Obrien

  23. 4 out of 5

    Seanna Yeager

  24. 5 out of 5

    Terry Pearson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shana M. Garrity

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Wrightson

  27. 5 out of 5

    Todd Rumsey

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ted

  29. 4 out of 5

    L

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zandt McCue

  31. 5 out of 5

    Pam

  32. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

  33. 4 out of 5

    D

  34. 4 out of 5

    Katharine Adams

  35. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  36. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth McKinney

  37. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  38. 5 out of 5

    Cory

  39. 4 out of 5

    Kara

  40. 5 out of 5

    Raymond Stone

  41. 5 out of 5

    Anna Franks

  42. 4 out of 5

    John Burroughs

  43. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  44. 5 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  45. 4 out of 5

    Michael

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