The 2014 Long Island Poet of the Year, Annabelle Mosely is an award-winning poet and author of nine books. Her numerous awards include a 2008 Amy Award from Poets & Writers and being granted the Walt Whitman Birthplace Writer-in-Residence (2009-2010). She received an MA in Theology from The Seminary of the Immaculate Conception and an MFA in Poetry from Fairfield University. Moseley graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Literature and a Minor in Religious Studies from Fairfield University. She is a Lecturer at St. Joseph's College and St. Joseph's Seminary, and is the founder and editor of String Poet, the journal of poetry and music.
Praise for A Ship to Hold the World and The Marionette's Ascent
Like a sumptuous Northern diptych—Van Eyck’s Crucifixion and Last Judgment, say—Annabelle Moseley’s twinned volumes treat Biblical subjects through stunning compositions and vivid colors. In A Ship to Hold the World, Old Testament voices speak from the embers of ancient narratives with a contemporary spark. In The Marionette’s Ascent, it is not Dante who makes this spiritual journey but our semblable , a puppet, dancing to another’s tune: we are all, at times, willing or unwilling marionettes, the book suggests, and who of us cannot feel the truth of this. Moseley pulls the strings in these signal volumes, and the resulting show is mesmerizing.
When we pray, we put our two hands together, a symbolic gesture made possible because our bodies rhyme. In this amazing collection, Annabelle Moseley has hinged together two books, which, on first glance, would seem to be very different than our matching hands: venerable voices from the Old Testament in the first book, followed by the far more contemporary voice of “Marion,” a highly opinionated stringed puppet who has “dropped the ette” from her name. Moseley is a master of music in both volumes. Her characters speak in a perfect pentameter line, unnoticed because flawless. This poet knows line breaks: when to enjamb and when not. So never do we get the “Hallmark Card” effect. Instead, these are living voices we can really believe. “It’s dancing through restraint that is the test,” says Marion, and Annabelle Moseley has done just that in these remarkable poems.
Reading Annabelle Moseley’s double volume is like witnessing a dazzling, sophisticated “Cirque du Soleil” act. All elements combine; entertaining and strange, full of character and choreography, feeling and forward motion. There is never a dull moment, nor any passage which may be lightly-treated except to the reader’s disadvantage. Good judgment is here, too, in great quantities, as though the poems of A Ship to Hold the World, and The Marionette’s Ascent launched themselves from the flying trapeze of utterly-candid innocence, to fill the reader with trepidation, sailing over the safety net to safely land on a high platform of Wisdom—far above the reader, but visible, still.
Annabelle Moseley’s double gift of poetry (two books in one) is attuned to the higher powers that animate her art. Moseley’s confidence in forms yields a voice that is, by turns, playful, darkly witty, passionate, and powerful. This poet breathes life into old toys and ancient texts, in the most serious kind of play: the artist’s conjuring of worlds we can’t resist.