Time Out of Time
Award-winning poet Arleen Paré pays homage to the work of lesbian Syrian American poet Etel Adnan.
If books come from books, as David W. McFadden has claimed, then Time Out of Time is a clear example, arising, very deliberately as it does, out of Etel Adnan's astonishing collection entitled Time. The poems in Time Out of Time are in love with the poems in Adnan's Time and, it seems, Paré has fallen in love with Time's author, Etel Adnan, the internationally renowned poet and painter--or perhaps it is that she has merely fallen in love with Adnan's words. Paré's poems mirror the form, the rhythm, the shape, the short, brief lines in her own spare missives that are the poems in Time. This mirroring increases the intensity of Time Out of Time, creating a rare intimacy in Paré's collection. Paré's work pays homage to Adnan's work. Both collections pay homage to the world of the lesbian in the twenty-first century and to the world of the small poem. Using clear, crisp, well-defined language in visibly defined geometries, in "stanza after sweet-smelling stanza," Paré attempts to examine the trials of this new century, the hush around the word lesbian, the hush of the world's general collapse.
- Winner, Golden Crown Literary Award - Poetry 2023
"'Words,' Paré says, 'are the staple we crave.' In Paré's meticulously crafted poems, what's as poignant as the pictures she creates with her words are the hesitations in the not-so-quiet spaces between the words, between each poem. Each is a constellation of desire, an offering and an uncertainty, shyness, boldness, questioning—the entire dance in the approach to a love interest—not yet lover—but the one we are courting. The writer craves saying the words. The lover craves hearing them."
—Shani Mootoo, author of Polar Vortex and Cane | Fire
“Graceful, sensual, and evocative, Arleen Paré’s latest collection pays fitting homage to the poetry of the late Etel Adnan. Time Out of Time is also very much its own text, moving and beguiling, and expanding in multiple directions as it explores mortality, lesbian identity, and queer poetics.”
—Annick MacAskill, author of Swimming Upwards and Murmurations
“Arleen Paré’s Time Out of Time is a tender, explosive and erotic tribute to the Lebanese poet and visual artist Etel Adnan. With wit and joy at her affinity with Adnan, Paré draws Sapphic meditations of brevity and spareness, meditations full of leaps and pauses that surprise the reader. In declaring how she has become enthralled, even ‘smitten,’ with Adnan as a lesbian artist, Paré takes us to ‘a certain corner on a subconscious street / women and books binding,’ a corner where she faces the small and huge scales of death on our planet, and celebrates the ingenuity of women’s ‘impossible lives, the way we continue to thrive.’”
—Maureen Hynes, author of Sotto Voce
“In her seventh decade, Paré encounters Etel Adnan’s Time. As she reads it, she hears ‘the hush/the pages make.’ Inspired, she gives herself over to Adnan’s sheer attentiveness of ‘writing backwards,’ and chronology, fixed meaning, syntax, and privacy—reconfigure and vivify her recollections and musings. Alert: you will read this book more than once!”
—Betsy Warland, author of Bloodroot—Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss, 2nd edition, 2021