Poet’s new collection playful look at ‘human hurt’

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HALIFAX — Poet and neighbourhood resident John Wall Barger launches his collection Pain-proof Men this week.

From the book jacket: “The title is a literal translation of the Arabic word fakir, which refers to both a Sufi holy man who performs feats of endurance or magic, and a common street beggar who chants the scriptures. In the world of carnivals, a fakir or torture king would go to great lengths to demonstrate his immunity to pain – by, for example, lying on a bed of spikes and then asking an audience member to break a concrete block on his chest with a sledgehammer. The voice that emerges in Pain-proof Men is that of a derelict who sings the names of God during the day, and moonlights at a circus as a human pincushion at night …”

More info on Barger can be found at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. You can order his book from Palimpsest Press.

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