Pub Date 29 Aug 2017
Winner of the 2015 Little A Poetry Contest.
A journey through girlhood, self-discovery, and the little acts of violence we inflict on one another.
In an astounding debut poetry collection, Cave Canem, Callaloo, and Lambda Literary fellow Ife-Chudeni A. Oputa presents a relentless but refined portrait of one young woman’s journey toward self-discovery. Her poems explore the eternal themes of the human condition—nature, origin, shame, identity, desire, mortality—with sensitivity and specificity. They illuminate and interrogate the ways that her characters inflict and experience pain, ultimately revealing how we must all face our shame in order to grow. No voice is blameless; no person is exempt. Divided into four sections, the collection reads as a life cycle of emotional metamorphosis: girlhood and sexuality, trauma, relationships, and grief. Rummage is a wildly courageous and lyrical book full of music, metaphor, and the power of memory.
A Note From the Publisher
“I have been waiting for this book for a long time and I am still blown away by the shock of such an extraordinary new voice in the world of words and poems. Nothing can prepare a reader for the rigor and heart of Ife-Chudeni A. Oputa’s Rummage. These poems wrangle with queer existence and desire in a way I haven’t read before. How we rummage inside and with each other as a means of figuring out our bodies and place in the world. The love between women (erotic, familial, both at the same time) is deeply romantic in this book because it is also so hard, so impossible to express, and so often at odds with the world we live in. Gender is not a concept in this book. It is a living and changeable thing, and the reader must grapple with their own complicity in ‘rummaging’ for a definition, a vessel to put the body into. I am a student of this book. I am reader and read.” —Gabrielle Calvocoressi, author of Apocalyptic Swing: Poems and Rocket Fantastic: Poems