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Honor Moore, Poet & Writer

“The streak of white daubed inside each poem is like a secret ticket to lightness and shining. Are these poem or paintings? Hard to say because their pleasures cross all such boundaries, placing Honor Moore among the happy poets.” —Fanny Howe

“Moore's poems are perfectly formed yet impassioned...incantations recited to transform confession and grief into liberation and warmth.”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist

Honor Moore is the author of three collections of poems: Red Shoes, Darling, and Memoir. She is the editor of Amy Lowell: Selected Poems for the Library of America and co-editor of At the Stray Dog Cabaret, A Book of Russian Poems translated by Paul Schmidt. Her biography, The White Blackbird, A Life of the Painter Margarett Sargent by Her Granddaughter, was a New York Times Notable Book in 1996, and she received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004 for The Bishop’s Daughter, a memoir, to be published in 2008, by W.W. Norton. Her play Mourning Pictures, was produced on Broadway and published in The New Women’s Theatre: Ten Plays by Contemporary American Women, which she edited. Moore is also a theatre critic for The New York Times.

Honor Moore has received awards in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and in playwriting from the New York State Council on the Arts. Poems and prose have appeared in The American Scholar, Salmagundi, Conjunctions, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Open City, the Paris Review and other journals and anthologies. She teaches in the graduate writing program at the New School and Colombia. She has taught nonfiction in the graduate programs at the University of Iowa and Columbia University School of the Arts and poetry at Wesleyan University. She lives in New York City.

ABOUT The Bishop's Daughter (Norton)

“The Bishop’s Daughter is an unsparing portrait of a glamorous but elusive father and his daughter’s search for the truth about his secret life and conflicted loyalties. What makes Honor Moore's memoir so arresting is the effect of the author’s cool and penetrating gaze on her beloved subject. Before the life and book end, the god-like hero of New York's crisis years has climbed down from his pulpit to reveal the hidden tenderness, joys and fears of his all-too-human heart.’—Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind 

Paul Moore’s vocation as an Episcopal priest took him—with his wife Jenny and a family that grew to nine children—from robber-baron wealth to work among the urban poor of postwar America, prominence as an activist bishop in Washington during the Johnson years, leadership in the civil rights and peace movements, and two decades as the bishop of New York. The Bishop’s Daughter is a daughter’s story of that complex, visionary man: a chronicle of her turbulent relationship with a father who struggled privately with his sexuality while she was openly explored hers, and a searching account of the consequences of sexual secrets. With a depth of questioning that recalls James Carroll’s An American Requiem, this memoir engages the reader in the great issues of American life: war, race, family, sexuality, and faith.

“. ..Stylistically, Moore does not speak in excision.  It’s an older ear.  I’m thinking that a material everything hovers in her view, and the poems feel selected from that.  We’re moving through the fullness of a world, and memory.  The surprises, the replacements, are conducted almost by sleight of hand....the poems are full of the aches of privacy. . .  ” —The Nation

Photo by Marion Ettlinger

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