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Book Launch: Arleen Pare and Barbara Pelman

November 9, 2023 @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm


Please join Munro’s Books for the launch of new books by two beloved local poets!

Award-winning poet Arleen Pare’s latest collection, Absence of Wings, is both an intimate family portrait and a public documentation of how we, as a society, can fail to protect our children.

Absence of Wings depicts the extraordinary and tragically foreshortened life of A.—Paré’s niece, Brazilian, adopted, racialized, and living with multiple mental health diagnoses. In her deft and clear poetics, accompanied by documentary pieces in the tradition of C.D. Wright’s One with Others, Paré is both witness to and emotionally engaged in the life and death of A. The result is deep and heart-felt, both factional and fictional, poetry and prose, holding its subject, A., heart-close and 3,000 miles away. Absence of Wings unfolds on many levels; it embraces the private and public spheres; it is as intimate as family, as worldly as the public and personal politics that surround each life. It both observes and embraces, always with the important question of the world’s unprotected children in mind.

In A Brief and Endless Sea, award-winning poet Barbara Pelman presents a life lived in poetry, delving into the small moments and spaces containing the greatest offerings of love, hope and possibility.

Born out of waiting out the lockdown during the early days of the pandemic, Barbara Pelman’s A Brief and Endless Sea explores a life in retrospect, beginning with a high school typing class and ending with the Angel Purah, cutting the ties that bind a soul to a body. Many of the poems in this collection are rooted in Jewish tradition: the prophet Isaiah’s words of comfort; the rabbinical story of the Lost Princess, that angel and her counterpart, the Angel Duma. Pelman takes us to difficult places—the dissolution of a marriage, caring for a parent with dementia. But she doesn’t leave us there, waiting. Using the power of words to map a route out, A Brief and Endless Sea pulls us toward life in all of its vibrant details—the simple beauty of a small garden of tomatoes and roses, the pleasures of teaching poetry, long walks with a grandson, and encounters with spirituality. For Pelman, there is comfort in the making of a poem and in the “smallest life you can love.” Like the glosa form she turns to often, something small transforms into something larger, expansive. In A Brief and Endless Sea, the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and waiting in itself presents fertile ground for hope and possibility.

WHEN: Thursday, November 9th at 7PM (doors at 6:30)

WHERE: In-store at Munro’s Books, 1108 Government St.

WHAT: A reading and Q&A with Arleen Pare and Barbara Pelman.

HOW: This event is free to attend.