The poems in Cartographies travel new territory, exploring the heart’s changeable geography and the soul’s uneven terrain. They map the familiar, sometimes astonishing, and always complex world of the poet’s native San Gabriel Mountains, as well as nearby Los Angeles, with its cultural richness and social/political tensions. Divided into four sections–The Soul, The Self, Mountains, The City–Cartographies investigates and fathoms our most profound relationships with time, nature, love, and death. In poem after poem, Simon finds meaning in unexpected locales, from a hospital AIDS ward to the “Rorschach” on a butterfly’s wings to a barrio bakery, and in the briefest of moments, evoked by the plaintive voice of a spider, or provoked by a breathless escape from an avalanche. With clarity and eloquence, these poems dramatize the persistent paradoxes present in our daily lives, those interstices of yearning and mourning, fear and celebration, or anguish and amazement that reveal the deep wells and turbulence of human consciousness. With consummate craftsmanship and inner grace, Simon apprehends the elegiac within the purest moments of joy, and intimates catharsis within despair. She opens the mind’s windows to myriad small miracles provoked by the barest glimmers of wonder and hope.

White text stating Cartographies Uncollected Poems 1980-2005 by Maurya Simon over a black background with the image of a stone statue of a woman's naked torso.

Maurya Simon ( Author Website )

Publication Date: September 1, 2008

Genre/Imprint: Poetry, Red Hen Press

$18.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 978-1-59709-387-3


Deborah Bogen Reviews Cartographies

Cartographies: Uncollected Poems: 1980-2005, by Maurya Simon (Red Hen Press, 2008)The cover of Cartographies is a photograph of a bronze by New Mexican sculptor, Katherine Wells. It’s a female torso […]

Phoebe Journal reviews Cartographies

Cartographies Maurya Simon. Red Hen (CDC, dist.) $18.95 (104p) ISBN 978-1-59709-387-3 Maurya Simon's resume reads like that of a literary superstar. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1990 and the […]