A renowned poet lets language ride its own musically-malleable syntax into unfamiliar regions of consciousness.
Brian Henderson has established himself as a poet who brilliantly makes us aware of language as an instrument of discovery. In his work we realize, over and over again, that each of the mind's worlds speaks a secret language, which it is the poet's task to discover and translate. In Sharawadji, this includes not only such worlds as those created by the surreal paintings of Jacek Yerka, but the intense, re-humanizing experience, of loss and grief.
As Tim Lilburn writes, "Sharawadji begins with a series of smart, sinuous portraits of placeless, post-apocalytic locales. These poems seem to grow from sensuous interior observation; their phantasms, appearing "haloed and blown, in their fizzing solders," are strange yet unsettlingly familiar. Throughout this collection, Henderson conjures alternate worlds — they resemble the peculiar kingdoms in Sufi visionary recitals — that are enticing, disarming and uprooting. And, inside it all, in a room of its own, a tender death is observed.?
About the author
Brian Henderson has been a Governor General's Award finalist (Nerve Language, Pedlar Press, 2007) and a finalist for the CAA Chalmers Award for Poetry (Sharawadji, Brick Books, 2011). He is the author of eleven previous volumes of poetry, including The Alphamiricon (a deck of visual poem cards) and [OR] (Talonbooks, 2014). Former director of WLU Press, he is now co-editor of the Laurier Poetry Series, and lives with his wife, Charlene Winger, in Grey Highlands, Ontario.
" ... We arrive in a kind of perfect array of divergence ... Sharawadji is a brilliant achievement, tirelessly inventive, and a pleasure to read."--Edward Nixon, Open Book Toronto
"Reading Brian Henderson's Sharawadji gets me thinking of those first people who discovered dinosaur fossils and began seriously to think about their long-held notion of time and its limits."--Bill Robertson, Saskatoon StarPhoenix