How Blood Works
Ellene Glenn Moore Richard Blanco
The Kent State University Press
Winner of the 2020 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize
“A luminous debut collection of poems.”—Peg Boyers, author of To Forget Venice
“Moore explores the difficult territory of all that we cannot explain yet must embrace.”—Jim Daniels, author of The Middle Ages
How Blood Works is a collection of poems that considers the way memory, identity, and our very blood take shape in the places we inhabit: rooms, cities, landscapes, and the spaces within the body. Moore examines the idea of bloodlines—literal familial ties and the traumas, secrets, and complex relationships passed from one generation to the next. To explore these motifs, many of the poems borrow from the world of visual art, including painting, sculpture and its resonance with the creation of the self, and architecture, too, as a metaphorical counterweight to nature.
In keeping with the central theme that the stories we tell ourselves—and, by extension, our understanding of who we are—are shaped by the spaces in which we tell them, the poems in How Blood Works vary in form. From traditionally lineated lyrics to more architectural, segmented prose pieces, the poems themselves become a space for narratives of the self to play out.