Before We Were Insects, by Kae Winter-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

Before We Were Insects, by Kae Winter

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Kae Winter
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Poetry, chapbook, 40 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

Before We Were Insects is an exploration of the nuanced spaces that exist within the tapestry of intimate relationships. It delves into the subtle interstices, often illuminated solely by the unobtrusive presence of the smallest creatures among us—the insects. These spectators bear witness to the clandestine moments of our daily lives, those instances often shielded from the gaze of others.

In Before We Were Insects, the unraveling of a modern-day afab lesbian relationship reveals the paradoxical currents of an all-consuming love and covert emotional abuse. The poetry and prose within the chapbook dissects the intricacies of covert abuse, a phenomenon so insidious that its profound impact often eludes the awareness of most individuals, even those subjected to the distressing psychological and emotional ramifications. In each poem, the story is explored through the navigation of the tumultuous terrain of a whirlwind romance. The poetry hopes to plunge the reader safely into the depths of intense love, where tenderness, care, and sensuality morph seamlessly into a bewildering panorama of confusion, manipulation, silent treatment, lies, and systematic isolation. The delicate nature of the human nervous system is explored in parallel with the invisible harm wrought by covert emotional abuse, drawing poignant comparisons to the fragile existence of insects in their everyday lives.

In this chapbook, the insects emerge as silent witnesses, offering refuge and intimate understanding during moments when no other human in the world could possibly comprehend the profound complexity of the human experience. "Before We Were Insects" is a journey into the shadows of queer relationships, where vulnerability and strength coalesce in the face of the unseen and the unspoken, with the hopes of ultimately offering those whose voices have been silenced in these relationships to hear their stories reflected back to them on these pages, and know they are not ever alone.

Kae Winter (kae | any) holds an MFA in Poetry from Goddard College. Is a gender-fluid lesbian, parent-by-choice, Queer Arts Therapist and all-around curious weirdo. Kae’s poetry focuses on the intersections of marginalized identities, power, privilege, societal trauma, experiencing relational love, accessing inner joy, and empathy for our monsters. Kae spends their time being amazed by their kiddo’s ability to love unconditionally and being humbled by all the wonder that exists in the world. Kae has contributed work to journals including: InBetween Lit Mag, Rituals, & New Words Press. Kae is currently working on the final edits of their hybrid style poetic memoir: Body Language.