Nanaimo poet Kamal Parmar’s latest book, ‘Still Waters,’ reflects on her mother’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease. (Photos submitted)

Nanaimo poet reflects on mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease in new book

Kamal Parmar is presenting online readings from latest poetry collection, 'Still Waters'

Nearly 10 years ago Kamal Parmar watched as her mother struggled with Alzheimer’s disease and the Nanaimo poet reflects on that time in her new book, Still Waters.

The book came out last month and Parmar will read an excerpt from it at Nanaimo’s Wordstorm Society of the Arts’s Metaphorically Speaking poetry open mic event on Nov. 12. Parmar will also present an online book launch on Nov. 22.

Parmar said not all of her writing is personal but she long intended to discuss this chapter of her life through her poetry.

“I write a lot about nature – I love B.C. and I love going out for walks and [if] something strikes me, inspires me, I write – but this particular idea was always at the back of my mind,” she said.

It took Parmar nearly a year to compose the work. She said she took her time to ensure it came out the way she wanted and she shared the final version with relatives for “critical analysis.”

“As a writer, you’ve got to let the poems sit and then work on them again and probably edit, re-edit them to give it a fine polish or fine-tune them,” Parmar said.

Parmar said her mother’s illness wasn’t a difficult topic to write about, as poetry has a cathartic and therapeutic effect. She said “poetry heals in a big way.”

“It gave me relief,” she said. “And I’ve read my poems to others and they say yes, they understand the feeling, the poignancy behind it, and they’d also get emotional release of their pent-up feelings.”

Parmar added that those who have read Still Waters who have gone through a similar experience have identified with her poems.

“They understand the pain and at the end of it there is optimism and hope,” she said. “You’ve got to accept things as they come along. Some curveballs are difficult to overcome. Some are easy.”

Still Waters is available at Chapters in Nanaimo and online.

WHAT’S ON … Kamal Parmar will read from Still Waters at Wordstorm Society of the Arts’s Metaphorically Speaking poetry open mic event on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. Click here for a link to the event. Still Waters book launch happens online on Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. To register, e-mail info@silverbowpublishing.com.


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