One Book, One Poem finalists II: Rieppe Moore

Yesterday we published poems by Lauren Allen and Dianne Turgeon Richardson, finalists in the One Book, One Poem contest, which Jasper sponsored in conjunction with the second annual One Book, One Columbia program.


As we noted yesterday, we invited poets from the greater Columbia area to submit poems inspired by Ron Rash’s novel Saints at the River, and Rash himself judged the contest.  The winning poems, by Will Garland and Debra Daniel, will be published in the new issue of Jasper, to be released Thursday, Nov. 15.


But we’re publishing the finalists in advance right here on the Jasper blog!


Again, congratulations to Lauren Allen, Rieppe Moore, and Dianne Turgeon Richardson, who were all finalists in the contest.


Rieppe Moore actually had two poems among the finalists, “Three Things One Moment Before Summer” and “Waters Remember (Keowee No. 1).”  Moore is a southern poet who lives in Columbia, South Carolina with his wife, Cherith. He graduated from Columbia International University with a BA in Humanities. He is the author of Windows Behind the Veil and Letters to Ethiopia.  While in his first year teaching high school English, he began writing his third chapbook to be published in 2013.  He and his wife are the proud owners of a locally renowned Pogs collection.


Of his poems, Moore says, “Since reading Saints at the River, I’ve found Rash’s concept of the ‘thing past’ haunting my lines.  In Rash’s fiction the past overflows with ghosts—failures, disappointments, urgings, and trials that his characters experience.  During a recent photo shoot, I revisited a vacant farm in Blythewood , but when I arrived the farm had been harvested—only a few embarrassing wall frames and roofs remained.  When I raised my SLR to shoot the rural wreckage I couldn’t even remember what I had initially seen there.  I had lost the vision and the mind’s eye; I couldn’t find the right angles; I strove to position myself.”


Below are Moore’s poems.


* * *


Three Things One Moment Before Summer


The dogwoods are just gathering

clusters of innocence in their fists


as evidence that they got a

dull name. Redbud, jessamine


also answer to the viscid moisture

in air that is a stagnant spirit


summoning a god whose only

power is making beauty by calling


buds to open with the subtlety of

an alligator’s eyes that don’t surprise


as much as marvel vision at the door


of the coming season, when trees

will throw their petals to


the ground like constellations

loosed from gravity.


These spent garlands will mingle

with indiscriminate trashes


of brown paper bags and plastic

glasses (surviving the streets)


a throng of wastes, wasted of

similarities like many family generations


in a room all at once with dissonant

voices or like a stream always


speaking of every section of itself.



* * *


Waters Remember

(Keowee No. 1)



Pearling clouds swoon

over lambent, lapidary


waters for a moment.


August thunderstorms

on Keowee don’t soothe


the lake’s eager thirst


but pass along with a chill

of frisson.


Don’t count

raindrops that wrinkle


shuddersinged giggles

from the Spring. Here


breeze speaks of that

inundated town since,


absconded from trees –

black graveyard fields.


Here trout drink want


for waste of currents in

mass waters remember.



* * *

Congratulations again to our finalists—Lauren Allen, Rieppe Moore, and Dianne Turgeon Richardson.  And congratulations, as well, to our winners: Debbie Daniel and Will Garland.  Be sure to pick up the new Jasper (released on Nov. 15) to read the winning poems!



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One Response to One Book, One Poem finalists II: Rieppe Moore

  1. David Smith says:

    Hey Jasper!,

    Wow! –What a great year for Jasper magazine! I’ll have to say, it’s been a loong time coming for the word, or any word , for that matter, on the Art scene in Columbia!! … And you do it so well, spreading the wealth between all forms of art in Cola and SC.

    As a life-long artist and native Columbian, it has been puzzling to me at times as to why the Arts have not flourished moreso in this city. I suppose, it all goes back to timing and having the word out that Columbia is the right place to be for all things art. I appreciate where we’ve come and where we are going!

    Personally, perhaps it can all be summed up with the Tapp’s Building. When I was small, my mom would take me along shopping with her there, as an adult I worked for the Tapp family, sometimes in the downtown store, now , many years later, it’s thrilling to me to see the art community embracing the Tapp building as a Art venue. To recall those years to now, knowing personally many of the local older artists in the area, and their works, I give ’em all a big salute! From Blue’s Tunnel, to Joe Byrnes’ Post-War swamp scene at the now defunct Green Street club, to the 60’s deco style mural in the Tapp building by Gil Petroff, they have all been instrumental in building upon a Art scene that Columbia is now embracing as never before.

    So, Dear Jasper, keep on keeping on, keep putting the word out on us !

    All The Best,

    David Smith

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