New Dominion Bookshop to host reading with doctor, poet Laura Kolbe

Laura Kolbe
Laura Kolbe. Photo courtesy New Dominion Bookshop.

New Dominion Bookshop will host a poetry reading and audience Q&A with poet, doctor, and UVA alum Laura Kolbe on Friday, Nov. 5, from 7-8 p.m.

Kolbe’s debut poetry book, Little Pharma, will be released from the University of Pittsburgh Press in late October.

This event is free to attend and open to the public. The bookshop recommends arriving early for the best seating.

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.

Kolbe is a doctor and medical ethicist at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She studied English and American literature at Harvard and the University of Cambridge before receiving her MD from the University of Virginia. She has published poetry, fiction, personal essays, and criticism in publications including The New York Review of BooksThe Washington Post, The Wall Street JournalThe Nation, and Poetry.

Her medical work was highlighted in The New Yorker’s coverage of COVID-19, on LitHub’s Thresholds podcast with Jordan Kisner, and in the anthology A World Out of Reach: Dispatches from Life Under Lockdown. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner Andrew and their dog Bonnie.

More of her work can be found at laura-kolbe.com or by following @laurakolbemd on Twitter.


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