Luling poet’s first collection 
available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

At first, Valerie Bruce considered her poetry part of a personal journey best left to her own eyes, But over the last year, that opinion began to change and now she is ready to share it with the world.

Bruce’s first poetry collection, “Don’t Give Away the End,” is available now online at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This marks the first time she’s shared her poetry with anyone outside of her close circle of friends or family.

“Poetry strikes a chord with me in much the same way music does,” she said. “It’s comforting to know there’s someone out there who’s been through what you’re experiencing and had the courage to capture it in writing. The ability to craft words in such a way that they evoke deep emotions and make you feel understood is truly remarkable.”

Bruce, who is the mother of two boys, has lived in Luling since 2013 and said she enjoys the laid-back atmosphere of the South. She hopes to help others who have experienced childhood trauma and mental illness stand firm in who they are and who they will grow to be.

Writing isn’t Bruce’s full-time profession, though she one day hopes that’s the case. She currently works in payroll tax data analytics, but her fascination with poetry began in her freshman year of high school thanks to her English teacher, Mrs. Foster.

“She would start each class by playing a song and asking us to write about our feelings toward it,” Bruce said. “This practice led me to start journaling my feelings, which eventually evolved into writing poetry to express myself.”

Bruce called the last three years of her life “incredibly challenging” after she lost someone deeply important to her. This loss ignited her passion to pursue publishing her poetry.

“A venture he would have encouraged, as he supported all I wrote and chose to share,” she said. “Completing the content for the book took around six months.”

Working a day job did make it challenging for Bruce to concentrate on her pursuit, though she found ways to get it done.

“I frequently find myself pausing to jot down notes on my phone whenever inspiration strikes, or I ensure I have a journal handy for those moments I can dedicate to writing,” she said. “While I don’t commit to writing poetry every day, I do make it a point to journal daily as a form of therapy.”

Bruce’s poetry covers a wide range of themes that include childhood trauma, breaking cycles, navigating mental health challenges, love, loss and the nuances of friendship. She said the last poem in her collection, called “What I Know to Be True,” holds a special place in her heart.

“Reflecting on it now, I can trace the beginnings of my healing journey and my aspirations for the future,” she said.

Bruce added that her friends and family have shown tremendous support for her first poetry collection.

“Some of the feedback I received mentioned that it was somewhat difficult to read, given their insider perspective, but there was also a strong sense of pride in my courage to share my journey and emotions,” she said.

To purchase a copy of “Don’t Give Away the End,” search for it on or