Life and Death: Monroe 2023


Peter Harley now lives in Tucson, Arizona, but has spent much of his life in Newfoundland, Canada, to which many of these poems refer. Harely’s earlier work can be read freely at The book’s title, Life and Death, and the photo used on the front cover are explained in the poem of the same name on page 63. Harley began publishing these ten-year collections in 1993 with Monroe and the Sketches.

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In Life and Death: Monroe 2023, Peter Harley continues his tradition of publishing his poetry every ten years. Monroe is an alter ego that has allowed him to write about certain ideas and experiences in the third person. In this volume, as in previous ones, there are poems of a political nature, such as “Torture”  (page 56)  and “Animal Skins at the Singularity” (page 17). While there is a measure of levity in many of these, there are also poems of grief like “Days Now” (page 125) since the poet’s wife, Carolyn, died in 2022.


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