Please join Munro’s Books in celebrating new books by two local authors: Ali Blythe and Jason Jobin!
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art —
Breaking open John Keats’s “Last Sonnet,” in his third book of poetry, Stedfast, Ali Blythe writes marginality into the canon, at once claiming, reviving, and un-fixing the Romantic vision.
Taking place over one night, the poet in bed next to a sleeping lover, Blythe’s revelatory poems struggle with questions of illusion and reality, immersion and escapism, that which endures and that which is transient. Held taut in formal quivers of short lines, each poem is shot through with eros — to address, to dress and undress, the subject of the love poem and perhaps love itself.
Jason Jobin's debut, The Wild Mandrake, is a memoir that covers his life from the cusp of adulthood, as he faces cancer that keeps coming back.
Doctors used to tell him he was cured. That was a long time ago. Ever since he first left home at age nineteen, writer Jason Jobin has had cancer. Every five years, like clockwork, it relapses, and yet he always pulls through, surrounded by friends and family but isolated by illness. Chemotherapy, surgeries, radiation — these persist, but they aren’t the milestones of his life. They can’t be, he won’t let them be.
From helicoptering into the Yukon backcountry to teaching in an elite writing program, Jason strives to enter adulthood with some normalcy, but his is the life of “a special case.” And he does live. He lives working at a deli for minimum wage as his students come down the hill to shop and ask what he’s doing there. He lives measuring out nausea pills and benzos while his roommates drink and smoke and party. He lives lying to girlfriends about past diagnoses because what can you say? What do you build on rubble? He lives high and low and in between. Again he is sick, again he is cured. It’s miraculous. A great gift. But never enough.
Told in short glimpses, this story redefines what it means to survive. Jobin brings together the illuminated moments of loss and joy as he navigates chronic illness and builds from it something new and wildly unexpected.
WHEN: Wednesday, November 1st at 7:00 PM (doors at 6:30).
WHERE: In-store at Munro's Books, 1108 Government St.
WHAT: A reading and signings by Ali Blythe and Jason Jobin.
HOW: This event is free to attend.