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Cauldron of Hisses
by Penelope Moffet


This fascinating interlinked collage of poems paints vignettes of the world's big cats-leopards, caracals, cheetahs-against a ghostly backdrop of human family, relationships, and survival alone and together. Interconnectedness runs all through Cauldron of Hisses: parent to child, poem to poem, hunter to sustenance, a world in which, through these ever-turning flashcards of poems, "each builds a structure,/finds society."
—Amy Miller, author of Astronauts and The Trouble with New England Girls

In Cauldron of Hisses, Penelope Moffet shows how to trust where the muse will take you, delivering a fine book of feline poetics just in time for the Year of the Tiger. When she writes, "Now she looks/and listens on her own,/sniffing the warm breeze/for hints that what she needs/breathes the same air she does," she could be describing her own tracking via these linked poems of the origins of her personal mythology. Cauldron of Hisses is medicine for us.
—Paul E Nelson, Author of American Sentences and A Time Before Slaughter: Featuring Pig War & Other Songs of Cascadia

"So much depends on posturing/in cats and humans." In this series of linked poems Penelope Moffet, her domestic cats and their counterparts in the wild shape-shift back and forth—all of them "alone unless tamed and almost/never tamed." Cauldron of Hisses is full of surprises and delight.
—Cynthia Anderson, author of Full Circle and The Missing Peace