Oak Harbor poet Daniel Edward Moore has published two books in the span of three months and is promoting them during reading tours across the Puget Sound area including an upcoming signing in Langley.
The first book, published in December, is titled “Boys.” As the name suggests, it is about growing up from the male perspective.
The cover features art created by his wife, Laura.
“‘Boys’ is obviously about male issues: fathers and sons, trauma and abuse, patriarchy, militarism, homophobia, AIDS, homoerotica,” Moore said.
“I cover the gamut.”
Being a chapbook, he covers the gamut in 25 poems.
“Waxing the Dents,” Moore’s second book was published in February. It contains 60 poems and is less conceptual, covering a wider array of topics. It opens with love poems to his wife, includes poems about his son and has 12 poems from “Boys.”
Both books contain poems born out of Moore’s life experience. He writes from the inside out. “I don’t think we have much authority, as an artist, to speak about things we haven’t experienced,” he said.
His experience with poetry began at a garage sale in Tennessee 25 years ago, when he picked up a book by Sylvia Plath, an American poet who died in 1982.
“I had no knowledge of who Sylvia Plath was at all,” Moore said. “I bought the book and it just became a life changing experience.”
Since then, poetry has become his life.
Moore said he awakens at 4 a.m. every day and spends two and half hours working on his poetry and reaching out to publishers. He treats the process like meditation, focusing on his breathing.
He gets about 13 rejections a day.
“I am a revision junkie,” Moore said. “I will not let a poem out into the world until I am clear its done speaking to me.”
Being published in literary journals is key. He said the most important part of any poetry book is the acknowledgements page, the list of journals that originally published the poems.
He said every poem that has been published in a journal says two things, “I said ‘yes’ when I wrote the poem and the world said ‘yes’ when a journal said ‘I want to publish it.’”
Moore has no formal education in poetry yet he has pushed himself into academic circles with publications in Western Humanities Review out of the University of Utah, and Hawaii Review out of the University of Hawaii.
“Unfortunately in the world at large, academia is the main institutional presence of how literature is accessed and brought into student lives,” Moore said, but he added that most of his mentors come from an academic background. “I’ve always just found that the academic poets’ voices really resonated with me,” he said.