Nominated for the CAA Award for Poetry [Canadian Authors Association]
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.”
“Brian Henderson is one of the most innovative poets writing in Canada today. Sharawadji is his greatest achievement so far . . . He is a master at distilling lived experiences down to their linguistic and emotional essences. . . What he has created on these pages has my deep and lasting gratitude.” —Don Domanski
“Poetry for the soul – Brian Henderson dazzles with Sharawadji.” – Quentin Mills-Fenn, Uptown magazine, Winnipeg
- Sharawadji by Brian Henderson
Gillian Wigmore, The Goose 12/13, November 2013
- Postcards from Home
Louise Young, Canadian Literature 216 / spring 2013
- Sharawadji – Brian Henderson
Devin Pacholik, Pages and Patches blog, October 10, 2012
- Brian Henderson on Required Unrealities
H.L. Hix, In Quire, June 8, 2012
- Poetry: Collections from five area poets
Robert Reid, Waterloo Region Record (February 11, 2012)
About the Author
Brian Henderson is the author of ten collections of poetry, the most recent of which, Nerve Language (Pedlar Press, 2007), was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. He holds a PhD in Canadian Literature, has worked in many facets of Canadian publishing, and is currently the director of Wilfrid Laurier University Press.