Live via Zoom:
Wednesday, October 27, 7:30 PM ET
Book Launch: Laura Kolbe presents Little Pharma: Poems
In conversation with Jordan Kisner & Isabel Duarte-Gray
Greenlight celebrates the launch of Little Pharma, the 2020 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize-winning book of poetry by Brooklyn-based physician, medical ethicist, and poet Laura Kolbe. Written during Kolbe’s years in medical school, residency, and time as a hospital physician during the COVID-19 surge in New York City, the poems in Little Pharma navigate, through an eponymous persona, the murky channels of the hospital and clinic, the borderlands of the living and the dead, and the journey from novice to healer. Interspersed throughout are interludes on love, family life, and escapes into art and history, bringing back the hot clamor of the outside world. Essayist Jordan Kisner and poet Isabel Duarte-Gray join Kolbe for a magnetic evening of words that move, prod, and heal.
Jordan Kisner photo credit: Ebru Yildiz
The title Little Pharma is both a doppelgänger and a cri de coeur: as the poet’s dreamlike double, the character Little Pharma navigates the murky channels of the hospital and clinic, the borderlands of the living and the dead, and the journey from novice to healer. At the same time, the poems plead for a return to a littler pharma, a space for stolen intimacy and momentary quiet amid the impersonal and engulfing chill that floods the anatomical theater and the corridors of illness. Little Pharma is a Dantean journey from the depths of an institution, and of a pervading personal dread, to a renewed celebration of human contact, the body, and the giddy, terrifying excitement of ongoing life.