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Local poet and educator Jane Ibur releases new poetry and prose collection

From Lauren Wiser

Left Bank Books presents author Jane Ellen Ibur, who will sign and discuss her poetry and prose collection, Both Wings Flappin’, Still Not Flyin’ (PenUltimate Press, October 2014), on Wednesday, December 10, 7pm, at Left Bank Books (399 N. Euclid). Refreshments will be served.

One glance at recent headlines and the raw wounds and searing fissures of continuing racial tension are immediately apparent. A remedy: apply the balm of soothing words about a loving relationship. That’s Jane Ellen Ibur’s prescription in Both Wings Flappin’, Still Not Flyin’. The continuous thread of this collection is the development of a deep and lasting bond, formed between a young white girl and an older black woman who was in the employ of the girl’s family. As the story is brought forward, the characters’ roles reverse and the girl—now a young woman—becomes the caretaker in a relationship that bridges race and class.

Of Both Wings Flappin’, Still Not Flyin’, Lynn Sharon Schwartz, author of The Writing on the Wall, says, “The poems are heartfelt and moving, and memorialize a rare and selfless relationship that transcends age, race, and social class.” Jabari Asim, author of A Taste of Honey, claims, “In this evocative narrative of kinship blooming over the borders of a divided city, Ibur performs painful, beautiful, necessary work.”

Jane Ellen Ibur is an award-winning poet and arts educator whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. For nearly thirty years she has taught poetry in nontraditional settings. For nineteen years she co-produced and co-hosted Literature for the Halibut on community radio. Jane Ellen is the literary editor of Blindness Isn’t Black, an anthology by Missouri writers and artists with disabilities, and she directs St. Louis Poets and Writers Ink for emerging writers.

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