Earlier this year, I spoke with Charles Valle about his debut book of poetry Proof of Stake, published by Fonograf Editions in June.
The interview is now live at Poetry Northwest. I'd like to send a huge thanks to editor Bill Carty for giving our conversation a home and to editorial assistant Alexa Luborsky for her work getting it up on the website.
Here is a snippet from the intro:
How does one speak the unspeakable? How can grief and immense loss be conveyed to others? These are questions that Charles Valle grapples with in his debut book of poetry Proof of Stake, released by Fonograf Editions in June. Written in stops and starts over nearly a decade, Proof of Stake is comprised of a single long poem, an elegy addressed to Valle’s daughter, Vivian, who died shortly after her birth. Unlike traditional elegies, the speaker does not arrive at a place of consolation or solace by the end of the poem. Instead, Valle rages as he unsettles himself throughout the poem, mourning not just the loss of his daughter, but also decrying the persistent racist history of colonialism, and the contemporary racism and cruelty of capitalism—the things Vivian would have inherited, the things Valle’s other children have inherited. This is an elegy that resists and refuses closure as it recounts various traumas. It is a poetics of grief, a rallying cry, and a protest song.
You can read the interview here.