“Disquiet is a collection of poems that utilizes natural phenomena – a bright beach, a fallen tree limb, the weight of gravity – to evoke and reflect upon memory and human experience. The poems are structurally innovative, each shaped around a central axis as they trace the speaker’s growth from childhood to adulthood. Acute observations resonate throughout the book as its focus shifts from the natural world to the world of the made – the grocery cart or pie-case or microscope – to the world of visual art, and then back. The poems are subtly braided together in a way reminiscent of the invisible bonds that unite snowflakes or cells.” 


The sixty-seven lyric poems that comprise John Witte’s Disquiet shed their beautiful lamplight on so many separate elements, beings and conditions, one can feel the loom of Neruda’s Elemental Odes, and hear in them, exquisitely, the voices and footfalls of one’s own life and the darkly marvelous lives of the imagination. This is an utterly distinctive volume, courageous, disquieting indeed, in its technical and emotional clarity, and in the amazing range of reference that includes us all. If you love poetry, you will love this book. —Christopher Howell

“In John Witte’s poems, the elements – air, water, earth, fire – are all in flux, all caught in the fierce beauty of their disquietude. Each poem exhorts us to

see how     in love we are     how brief
how fitfully     burning

Praise to this tongue stammering, scrambling, plunging to say its hellos, its goodbyes. What a wonderful, wondrous book Disquiet is.” —Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate