Emotionally direct and lyrically spare poems that celebrate humanity and articulate pain.

Each day leading up to the April 14 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2012 Poetry Finalist:

Invisible Strings
Jim Moore

Graywolf Press

Category Sponsor: Wellington Management, Inc.

Brief, jagged, and haiku-like, the poems in Invisible Strings illustrate how life moves past us moment by moment. Be it the benign accumulation of frequent flyer miles or cups of coffee, or the mounting losses of friends to death and divorce, a host of invisible strings connect our personal lives to the larger world. 


An excerpt from Invisible Strings:

Those Stories
We lived at the end of an empire.
Sometimes we gathered in huge auditoriums
And tried to understand.
Our shame did not save us,
Nor our sadness redeem us,
As we came to understand
How others, far into the future,
Would look back at us,
Shaking their heads: we hoped
In sorrow; more likely, anger.


Jim Moore has won four Minnesota Book Awards – three for Poetry (1989, 1996 and 2006) and one for Fine Press with collaborators, Regula Russelle & CB Sherlock (2007). Invisible Strings is his seventh book of poetry. He lives in Saint Paul.


“Lyrically sparse, but emotionally so, so rich. I read it twice.”
– Minnesota Book Awards judge

“With his simple poems that celebrate humanity and articulate pain, Jim Moore elevates economy of phrase to an art.”
– Star Tribune

“Moore will slow you to his tempo and convince you to inhabit his concerns, to revel with him, to wonder, or to grieve.”
– Pleiades

“Moore’s work is fresh in its honesty and lack of pretension. The sensitivity of the poet lurks behind every poem, every artistically described moment. This book could only have been written by someone with a keen mind, an open heart, a moral sense, and photographic eyes that can see the invisible strings that connect us all.”
– @darklake


In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio’s Euan Kerr, Moore talks about how wanted Invisible Strings to handle subjects frequently encountered in poetry – life, love, nature, and sadness – but with a twist. 

Watch: Prized Writers

The third episode of the Minnesota Book Awards’ writers in conversation series, “The Poetic Lens” features Jim Moore and Deborah Keenan discussing the unique approach of poets as they view and translate the world around them.


Award winners will be announced at the 24th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Saint Paul Riverfront. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m. followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. New this year: a post-awards “Epilogue Celebration.” Tickets are available online or by calling 651-222-3242. Click here for more information.

Have you read Invisible Strings? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

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