The collection of poems in The Reckoning of Jeanne d’Antietam circles the U.S. Civil War and the failed revolution of Reconstruction, and Matthew Moore makes incursions into the histories and beliefs of the era through architectures of sound, but also via ancillary histories and histories stacked upon histories—densely and visibly scrawled—like Anselm Kiefer's sculptures of lead books, melted and dripping with the texts of illegible songs. His poems include the figure of Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) and her voices; the explosion of the U.S. prison system and racial legal fictions amid the groundswell of mass terror in the wake of the U.S. Civil War; the politically poisoned poetic lineage that moves from Modernism, to New Criticism, and dead-ends in Southern Agrarianism; and the destructive colonial histories of the sugar and cotton industries.
The Reckoning of Jeanne d’Antietam stands imbricated with the spell of language-the-testament; language as hard rhyme and difficult music, evanescence and violence; and the invocation of names and events at their meeting places in history. Moore’s poems stand against sentiment and pity, and against the consolation of that which cannot be consoled.
“The Reckoning of Jeanne d'Antietam collapses time in fascinating ways.”
— Sasha Steensen, professor of English, Colorado State University, and author of House of Deer
“Moore recasts the Civil War through the eyes of a saint, and reading, I realized we are still fighting that war, day after day, in this country.”
—Claudia Keelan, professor of English, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, editor of Interim, and author of eight collections of poetry, including We Step into the Sea