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Conversation Pieces

Vol. 38 — Numa: A Epic Poem with Photo Collages

by Katrinka Moore

$12 $10.00 (paperback)
$5.95 (e-book) EPUB
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Read a sample from the book.

Circle the fire, night
at their backs. A lone
voice sings — archaic
strain — flame ashes
spiral of smoke —
Numa the darkness surrounding
them / Numa a vixen edge-
flickering / a sleepy child
catches hazel-eyed
gleam / spark
The poems in Numa tell the story of a shape-shifting numen. Numa, whose home body is that of a wild feline, learns by trial and error to take the form of other animals, plants, and the elements. As she grows up, she uses her skill to experience and share the divine in ordinary aspects of the world. She gives birth to a cub and begins raising her to shape-shift. Then an interloper appears, a young man on a quest for glory who believes he should defeat the “monster” in the forest.


Since an epic is a culture's way of expressing and preserving itself, I like to think that Numa is the epic of a culture that is emerging. Numa is a hero who does not concern herself with the standard heroic pastimes. While Odysseus is essentially a bellicose male, a pirate, Numa is a resourceful female, an observer and enjoyer. Odysseus offers holocausts of animals to petulant gods; Numa vividly experiences life inside animal bodies. The stubborn Odysseus is a pattern for an old idea called “mankind”; shape-shifting Numa represents a new idea, a wider conception of life, us among all of it, "otherkind."  (Read the whole review)
  —Amazon.com, Elizabeth Poreba, author of The Family Calling, June 10, 2014

...like nothing else you’ve read. Numa tells a fast-paced story, even as it proves a meditation on consciousness, on the primal nature of motherhood, and on how the body shapes identity.  (Read the whole review)
  —Mom Egg Review, Maura Candela, novelist and poet, July, 2014

[T]this mesmerizing being...will stay with you long after you've finished this poem...  (Read the whole review)
  —First Literary Review-East, Sarah Stern, author of But Today Is Different and Another Word for Love, April, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-61976-057-8 (13 digit)
Publication Date: Apr 2014
paperback 72 pages