paperback, 150 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 in
Publication Date: 2010
In a combination of discourse and lyric, paragraph and couplet, Bay Area poet and novelist Laura Moriarty explicates the poetics of a group of writers that resists categorization. This book-length essay uses the work of the California Tonalist painters to articulate new understanding and new possibilities for poetic practice.
“Always synesthetic, always formally relentless, in A Tonalist, Moriarty manages to keep a penetrating ethical-philosophical inquiry alive within a lyric terrain.”—Cole Swensen
“Moriarty’s A Tonalist explores–in appropriately trans-generic form–the shades, timbres, and temporalities of affinity with a warmth and intelligence rarely encountered in this age of ironic overdetermination. This is, simply put, a moving and vital book. ”—Stephen Cope