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A poetic exploration of Oregon's landscapes with a reverence for the wild and untamed
Connie Soper’s first book of poetry invites readers to wander the trails of Oregon’s lush and fertile forests, and to celebrate its beaches, coastal cliffs, and headlands. She explores her native terrain with a reverence for the wild and untamed, as well as smaller moments spent in solitude. A Story Interrupted opens its map of place, memory, and inheritances—a map both familiar and uncharted. These poems offer glimpses, as well, of more distant traveled lands, always rooted in a keenly observed sense of place and belonging. These poems recall tender moments and conjure memories that connect us with our past, even if that past is sometimes difficult to acknowledge. Here, open-endedness is not melancholy but joy, each poem a small celebration.
“A Story Interrupted takes us—lucky us—on a journey to places as diverse as the Oregon coast, Iceland, Mexico City, and Athens. With striking imagery, with wisdom and insight, Connie Soper’s work compels us—wherever we might be walking on this earth—to note the boon of paying rapt attention to what exists right under our eyes, to celebrate ‘the up side / of looking down’. Embracing mountain, lake, forest, and sea; deeply attentive to the lives of family, friends, and strangers; Soper’s poems urge us to ‘wander with a map / creased to the contours of curiosity,’ to ‘hike the precipice of awe’.”
—Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita
“Compelling, elegant, and remarkably honest, A Story Interrupted employs lush and accessible language to explore the softer and sharper edges of human connectivity: history’s deep reach into the present, the tragedies of war, memories both cherished and painful, and a series of deeply personal nature poems. There’s a sense in this beautiful collection that everything is threaded through everything else, that all boundaries are immaterial and impossible to sustain, that within even struggle and absence there is profound meaning. Soper’s vision is a rich testament to the power of tenderness, identity, and the over-present need for empathy. I dare anyone to read these poems and not be moved.”
“These poems find their ground in the natural world in a tradition that leads forward from Wordsworth and Whitman to present day Mary Oliver. I admire their clear language and steady vision, though like much current eco-literature, their impulses run from praise to lament.”
—Joseph Millar, author of Dark Harvest, New and Selected Poems
Connie Soper is a poet and hiker who finds inspiration by walking along the beach and composing poems in her head. She is the author of a non-fiction book, Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail, and is hard at work on her second collection of poetry. She divides her time between Portland and Manzanita, Oregon.