New Book: The Rattle Egg
Aug 26, 2021
Terri Witek is the author of 6 books of poems, most recently The Rape Kit (2018), winner of the Slope Editions Prize judged by Dawn Lundy Martin. She has collaborated with visual artists throughout her career; her work with Brazilian visual artist Cyriaco Lopes (cyriacolopes.com) includes gallery and museum shows, performances and site-specific projects: the duo are represented by The Liminal in Valencia, Spain. Other collaborators include new media artist Matt Roberts, poet Amaranth Borsuk and textile artist Paula Damm. Witek holds the Sullivan Chair in Creative Writing at Stetson University and with Lopes team-teaches Poetry in the Expanded Field in Stetson’s MFA of the Americas. terriwitek.com
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR The Rattle Egg by Terri Witek
“Is the egg obvious? Witek’s visual text candles language in this volume of discovery, overjoyed and overwhelmed by the maps that link body and vocabulary through egg and ova. Behind this text is a poet with two mother tongues, playing between Portuguese and English with skill and beauty—yoking words. These poems know that hatchlings imprint on their caretaker, but the tether is mutual. Just as the ovum, and the fetus it later becomes, leaves behind its trace in the body as dna not the parent’s own. We are thus connected to our little eggs much like the thread with a needle on each end in Witek’s text: pierced and sutured in perpetual equipoise. With beauty and humor, bravery and brio, this book illuminates hidden connections. Bravo!”
In The Rattle Egg, Terri Witek addresses the egg of Clarice Lispector’s story “The Egg and the Chicken” as a gender/genre of primal oddity. As a “terrain of foundational impressions, “the geometry of eggness” is both intimate and comically vast: the suspended egg, the performative egg, the baby rattle. What of the consumable egg-in-a-carton, cushioned in a cardboard grid, or the egghead with her sheets of graph paper seeking formulas for brokenness? With multiple visual and verbal recombinations, Witek wonders if the egg writes back. Herein the delight! What does it mean to be responsible and tender to the absurd worlds outside you and also in you, “the smeared gold apostrophe”?