Double Poetry Launch: Julie Paul and Miranda Pearson

Free admission

Join Munro’s Books in celebrating new work by two talented poets!!

“Chomping / champing / championing / churlish / … / There’s a wolf at the door / that looks exactly like me.” Who is the “whiny baby” in this book? Rather than calling names or hurling insults, the candid poems in this collection most often implicate the poet herself. Expansive in form and voice, the poems in Julie Paul’s second collection, Whiny Baby, offer both love letters and laments. They take us to construction sites, meadows, waiting rooms, beaches, alleys, gardens, and frozen rivers, from Montreal to Hornby Island. They ask us to live in the moment, despite the moment. Including a spirited long poem that riffs on the fairy tale “Three Billy Goats Gruff,” these poems are like old friends that at once console and confess. They blow kisses, they remember, and they celebrate the broken and the lost alongside the beautiful. At turns frank, peevish, introspective, and mischievous, the poems share sincere and intimate perspectives on the changing female body, our natural and built landscapes, and the idiosyncrasies of modern life. Whiny Baby calls on us to simultaneously examine and exult in our brief time on earth.

JULIE PAUL’s second book of poetry, Whiny Baby, follows the 2017 release of the poetry collection The Rules of the Kingdom, both published with McGill-Queen’s University Press. She is also the author of three short fiction collections, The Jealousy Bone (Emdash, 2008), The Pull of the Moon (Touchwood / Brindle & Glass, 2014), and Meteorites (Touchwood, 2019). Her writing has been published widely in journals and has received recognition from a number of sources. The Pull of the Moon won the 2015 Victoria Butler Book Prize, and The Rules of the Kingdom was a finalist for both the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Her personal essay “It Not Only Rises, It Shines” won the Edna Staebler Personal Essay Award from The New Quarterly and her short story “The Expansion” won The Rusty Toque’s Chapbook Award. Unless she’s visiting her daughter in Montreal, Julie lives in Victoria BC, where, in addition to writing, she works as a Registered Massage Therapist.

“Come, anguish. Help us manage / the plainsong of an open shore, / its language of high tide rich and close, / close and hard to see.” The early elegiac poems in Bridestones emerge from the borderlands between life and death, loss and renewal. Drawing on dreams, opera, and visual art, and employing symbolist and playfully surreal imagery, Miranda Pearson questions the ways we tend and grieve – for each other and our environment. Beginning with a sudden bereavement, the first section ends with a long poem, “Clearance,” that depicts the experience of emptying and departing a home – the physicality of a house serving as a vehicle for processing grief. Pearson writes on family trauma, illness, love, and desire with a pervading sense of hauntedness, compressed, lyrical accounts of complex and ambivalent terrain. The impact of a pandemic lurks in the background, and themes of fear run through much of this collection, with poems exploring how we face our fears – or deny and avoid them – and, ultimately, how we grow and adapt. Through meditations on art, myth, archaeology, ceremony, and death, Pearson reveals the veil between life and death when drawn to its thinnest. Like the hovering falcon depicted in “A Song of Roses,” the poems view the world from above: “if earth is body, and sky – God help us, spirit.”

MIRANDA PEARSON is widely published in literary journals and anthologies, and Bridestones is her sixth book of poetry. Two of the previous titles, Harbour and The Fire Extinguisher, were shortlisted for the BC and Yukon Book Prizes Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. While completing her MFA at UBC, Miranda served as poetry editor for Prism international, and has since taught at UBC and SFU. Miranda currently lives between the UK and Vancouver.
Please join us for readings from these two poets, followed by a Q&A with the audience and refreshments!

WHEN: Wednesday, May 1st at 7:00 p.m. (doors at 6:30)
WHERE: In-store at Munro’s Books, 1108 Government St.
WHAT: Readings by Julie Paul and Miranda Pearson from their new poetry collections, followed by a Q&A with the audience. Refreshments will be provided.
HOW: This event is free to attend.

Destination Greater Victoria is honoured to be based on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples of the Songhees Nation and the Esquimalt Nation, whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.