Absence of Wings
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.