Recent Door County Poet Laureate Barbara Larsen’s seventh book is Obits: Reading behind the fine print, uses her interest in obituaries to move beyond the printed words to capture essential meaning of the subject’s lives. At times light-hearted, at times poignant, but always respectful, Larsen’s poems bring energy, hope, and resonance to lives of the departed.
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Her collection runs the gamut of people, including an Civil Rights activist, an actress with stage fright, a gay botanist, an iguana at a children’s museum; a clinical child psychologist with a Tarzan yell; and a variety of others from all walks of life and callings.
Collaborating with the poet were two of the poet’s creative friends and previous collaborators: the whimsical illustrations were drawn by Gretchen Maring and design/layout by Kate Rericha.
The resulting work belies the title, as it is anything but morose. Rather, Obits joyously celebrates the inherent goodness and humanness of lives now passed.