This new collection of poems is a rapturous exploration of im/perfection, threading innovative form and histories of value — of the female body, especially — with dream logic and associative mastery.
Polyphony of silk and skin, A RUPTURE IN THE INTERIORS is a rapturous exploration of im/perfection, threading innovative form and histories of value—of the female body, especially, and of material worth—with dream logic and associative mastery. This is a modern tapestry of everyday traumas that, while seemingly minor, mark us all as participants in the human experience. Woven together, these images of disorder and defect tell a story of the superficial damage that runs deep, and that cannot slip from us unseen or unfelt.
Poetry. Women's Studies.
“Valerie Witte’s ambitious, densely associative poems offer a ‘tissue of stories unfolding’ in which she reinvents the very nature of skin: as map, as strata, as a process of reckoning. Here, Witte takes on the challenge of embodiment, its coils and fugitive film, bringing the reader into a richly lyrical disorientation.” —Elizabeth Robinson, author of Excursive
“A RUPTURE IN THE INTERIORS reads like an archaeological excavation where artifacts reveal themselves in unexpected combinations, torn from the contexts that would explain their presence. There’s a larger story below the surface, lost or dispersed, beyond the reach of our excavation. That muted story divulges as it withholds, tantalizing us with uncertainty, impelling us to try to fill in the gaps between the details set before us.” —Mary Burger, author of Then Go On
“Valerie Witte’s poems record the aftermaths of the human body’s ruptures, including interiors suddenly visible. Punctuation’s vertical bars and brackets become visual poetry for scars and wounds. What’s articulated in between are metaphors for what else exists in the universe, both physically outside as well as psychologically inside. Thus, Witte’s poems accomplish poetry’s most empathetic aspiration: that to bring a poem into the world is to bring the world into a poem.” —Eileen R. Tabios, author of Because I Love You, I Become War
“The wonder of this book is how it makes one feel as though one is holding not page, not book, but the fine texture of skin itself. Ultimately, this book strikes the song of the body’s largest and most visible organ, where we are the most vulnerable, where we first appear, then finally disappear where ‘we are almost human anyway.’” —Gillian Conoley, author of Notes from the Passenger
Valerie Witte is the author of multiple poetry and hybrid books, including A RUPTURE IN THE INTERIORS (Airlie, 2023), A GAME OF CORRESPONDENCE (Black Radish, 2015), and, in collaboration with Sarah Rosenthal, The Grass Is Greener When the Sun Is Yellow (Operating System, 2019), the first of a two-part project exploring the work of postmodern dancer-choreographers Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer. The second book in the project, a collection of experimental essays, is One Thing Follows Another (punctum books, 2024). She currently edits education books in Portland, OR, where she lives with her husband, Andrew.Author City: PORTLAND, OR USA