Monday, May 2, 2022

new from above/ground press: In-Between, by Saba Pakdel

Poetry by Saba Pakdel
a non-corresponding bilingual English/Persian collection


absence is a presence that never is
centuries would not pass
in an hourglass that’s falling
upside down
you did not believe in time
yet sand runs through
timelessness in a bubble
and oceans dry
does it all go back by turning the other end up?

what to do about the restlessness of the sun
the rebellious Icarus
falling to the borders of your stripped body
in between your thighs
into a mirage appearing closer
yet absence still is
not standing afar
to outdistance recollections

here, is no fear
here is the fear
tall city towers fall
rows of pine trees succumb
a crowd wanders inside me
with hideous faces through the falling
I             am                  pregnant with a disaster
mother lullabies

time follows you all the way up
don’t try to move backward
are not the darkest side of absence
when trees are the presence that never is

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
May 2022
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Saba Pakdel ( is a poet, modernist scholar, and PhD student in the English department at University of Victoria. She completed her BA and MA in English language and literature in Iran. She earned her second MA in English at Simon Fraser University in 2021.

Saba has attended and coordinated literary workshops and poetry readings; published poems, translations, and essays; and collaborated in stage plays as a playwright and backstage filmmaker.

For a while, she worked as an editorial assistant at Talonbooks Publishing in Vancouver. Photography is her occasional and non-verbal means of communication with the world.

Saba specializes in migration studies and contemporary literature with a focus on exile, refugee, and immigration problems, particularly in works of migrant authors from the Middle East and Maghreb. Her research addresses the identity formation of migrants away from Euro-centric formulations based in twentieth century ideas about migration, largely derived from post-WWII circumstances, toward a contemporary reckoning with experiences of migration.

Pakdel will be launching In-Between in Victoria (in-person and virtually) on Friday, May 6 at UVic | Clearihue Building | Room C214 (2-4pm) and in Vancouver on Saturday, May 14 at This Gallery (noon-2pm). For more details, go to her website.

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

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