Published by the Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University
Mountain West Poetry Series
"Stunningly musical and stylistically varied, the poems in Hungry Moon have the effect of a flyover view of terrain pocked with domestic and social unease. The reconnaissance we receive—red stuffing spilling out of a child's cheek torn by a dog; a cello case's lining 'exposed like a body split down the middle'—makes us think there is no safe place to land. But Goodman is expert at steering our gaze to identify landmarks in the natural world to bring us safely down; these sonically rich and surprising poems are lessons in perception, obliging us to look at the world from a distance and then up close, touch what is in front of us, like a stone from a rockslide—'I pick one up, / hold my hand over the black draft, then put it back'—to learn from, and move on."
With intimacy and depth of insight, Henrietta Goodman's Hungry Moon suggests paradox as the most basic mode of knowing ourselves and the world. We need hunger, the poems argue, but also satisfaction. We need pain to know joy, joy to know pain. We need to protect ourselves but also to take risks. Though the poems are drawn from personal experience, Goodman shares the conviction of such poets as Anne Sexton and Louise Gluck that when the poet writes of the self, the self cannot be exempt from culpability. Goodman's speaker ranges through time and locale—from exploring the experience of flying in a small plane with her lover/pilot over the landscape of the American West to addressing the grief and retrospective self-scrutiny that arise from a friend's death. Like the work of Mark Doty and Tony Hoagland, Goodman's poems embrace concrete particularity, entangled as it is with imperfection and loss: "the Quik Stop's fridge full of sandwiches and small bottles of livestock vaccines," "the black, hammer-struck moon of your thumb," "the empty water tower, one rusted panel kicked in like a door."