A lyrical collection focussing on a specific street and on a particular tree growing there, Earle Street, by Governor General’s Award winner Arleen Paré, takes the concept of street and urban living, the houses on the street, the neighbours, the boulevard trees and wildlife, and the street’s history as a poetic focal point. The book is divided into four sections, each of which differently considers the poet’s home street – as a river, as an arboretum, as a window, and finally as a whole world – resulting in an extended meditation on place, community, and lesbian domesticity that is at once poetic and philosophical. "Start from the inside," Paré writes, "as though organic, as though building from inside a seed. " Here is the macrocosm reflected, examined, and refracted through the microcosm of a single, quiet neighbourhood street.
Arleen Paré's first book, Paper Trail, was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Award for Poetry and won the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize in 2008. Leaving Now, a mixed-genre novel released in 2012, was highlighted on All Lit Up. Lake of Two Mountains, her third book, won the 2014 Governor General's Award for Poetry, was nominated for the Butler Book Prize and won the CBC Bookie Award. Paré's poetry collection, He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car, was a 2015 Victoria Butler Book Prize finalist. The Girls with Stone Faces, her fifth book, won the American Golden Crown Award for poetry in 2018. Her sixth book, Earle Street, was released in Spring, 2020. She lives in Victoria with her partner of forty years.
“Paré disrupts the fixity inherent in ideas of normativity by underscoring the very liminality that exists at the core of language”
—Clayton Longstaff, League of Canadian Poets
"Arleen has written poems about trees, rats, a grey squirrel, an orange cat, the people, the naming of the street, memories of her own ancestors, and of her own past. All of these aspects, including the various forms used, make it a rich and intimate exploration of place as well as with oneself. "—maryannmoore. ca
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