Sharawdji

What began as an experiment in ekphrasis has morphed, or perhaps under the circumstances, mutated would be a better word, into a series of pieces that nonetheless continue to speak in quite visual ways. Beginning in the work of Polish painter, Jacek Yerka (check out Yerkaland.com - the Polish site is best, or Mindfields), whose haunted landscapes (where evolutionary time and the laws of physics are displaced and elements of Bruegel, Van Eyk and Magritte mingle), the poems have honed in on a kind of post-apocalyptic, post-Hubbert's peak, post-Chernobyl space. They've staggered from dreams and leapt from other reading. And they're eking out an ecology in the seam between the prose poem and micro-fiction. The visual spaces seem to call to narrative, or set narrative fragments adrift. And these bits seem to collide with the denser verbal matter of the poetry in them. Needless to say, I'm being taken to some very strange places. Take just a single word, the word "tocsin" for example.

Reviews

Brian Henderson's Sharawadji is an immersion (actually, several immersions) into worlds super-saturated with sensation and emotion.

-Gillian Wigmore, The Goose 12/13, November 2013 - See more here...

Henderson's four-part collection takes as its title a term used to describe an "oriental style" in which an appreciation of artistry develops beyond the realm of meaning or context. Sharawadji is a series of sharply contoured poems that juxtapose past and present, natural and chemically engineered, reality and imagination, love and loss....By continually decontextualizing place and time, Henderson writes into existence a space that holds together multiple contradictions and layers of meaning--a space as simple and familiar as the surrounding images are disorienting and circumspect. Access to this space comes in exquisitely fleeting moments and, amongst "booby-trapped" alleys of the books's linguistic cityscapes, we find the sharawadji of the title.

-Louise Young, Canadian Literature 216/Spring 3013

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Sharawadji

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