Publication Year

Before the First, Before the Time


From: First


It – Beginning in Gravity – It begins in a corridor – In the beginning was noise and a flash – It begins in a driveway – Pat Hurdle became my best friend, my first – When Donna Lipton called Mary fat – Where two years before were trilliums and sycamore trees – At five I moved into a small brand-new bungalow – Pat moved in at the end of the week – Neither Green Circle nor Handfield were true circles – The Gropes’ pool was the envy of the neighbourhood – Pat became mine and I hers



Arleen Paré

Arleen Paré’s first book, Paper Trail, was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Award for Poetry and won the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize in 2008. Leaving Now, a mixed-genre novel released in 2012, was highlighted on All Lit Up. Lake of Two Mountains, her third book, won the 2014 Governor General’s Award for Poetry, was nominated for the Butler Book Prize and won the CBC Bookie Award. Paré’s poetry collection, He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car, was a 2015 Victoria Butler Book Prize finalist. The Girls with Stone Faces, her fifth book, won the American Golden Crown Award for poetry in 2018. Her sixth book, Earle Street, was released in Spring, 2020. She lives in Victoria with her partner of forty years.