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Brian Henry

Green Rose Series

New Issues Poetry & Prose
2003 • 63 pp. 6 x 9 3/4"

$14.00 Paperback, 978-1-930974-32-6

“Verse magazine and Verse press co-editor enry's two previous books, Astronaut and American Incident , appeared in the U.S. in 2002; each flaunted his skill... [continued in Reviews below]”—Publishers Weekly

Reviews / Endorsements

“Verse magazine and Verse press co-editor enry's two previous books, Astronaut and American Incident , appeared in the U.S. in 2002; each flaunted his skill with verbal disjunction and whimsical cut-up tales. This new book is a departure, having a single subject and a rigorously unified tone. The subject is sex, and the tone is dry, self-punishing and removed. The volume's first half offers a decidedly male perspective on heterosexual sex, from the heat of a first encounter to a long-renewed, occasionally embittered passion. "Your legs will not spread wide enough/ to allow for the loosening," Henry says of one scene; another finds 'No part of her not shedding in my mouth.' Self-abasement, disgust and highly conflicted poems about sex between men come to the fore in Part II. Though many stanzas can be direct, others inspire a bracing abstraction; sexual encounters and memories occur amid a riverine, chilly landscape, marked by oil drums, 'suffering' and 'real snow.' The most discursive poems suggest the productive influence of Donald Revell; more lyrical segments, such as "Another Cross," combine that influence with C.D. Wright. The last, perhaps best, poems move from 'thoughts uncertain of the effect/ they seek' to 'the pain/ of skin against skin.' Henry asks elsewhere if writing about sex 'requires a constant/ violence against specifics/ as desire takes over the mind of the task?' It is a question this volume seems designed to provoke.”—Publishers Weekly

“In this ruthlessly intelligent book, the map becomes the territory as ‘the eye claims for itself one last view.’ The terrain shifts and blurs the way that the syntax shifts and wavers, fluid and brittle as glass. Through the lens of these lucid lyrics’ entranced disenchantment, we’re presented with a double vision ‘thoroughly smudged with mistakes.’ The mapmaker loves and ruins with the same gesture (those errors are meaning itself), and Brian Henry neglects neither the palpably sexual love nor the bracingly ugly ruins: like the man in ‘The Company Not Kept,’ ‘he aligns sight . . . wayward but wary.’”—Reginald Shepherd


Winner of the George Bogin Memorial Award (2001)

BRIAN HENRY is the author of five books of poetry-- Astronaut (2000), American Incident (2002), Graft (2003), Quarantine, winner of the 2003 Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America (2006), and The Stripping Point (2007). An editor of Verse since 1995, he has reviewed poetry for numerous publications, including the New York Times Book Review, Boston Review, The Yale Review, and The Kenyon Review. He currently teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Richmond in Virginia.

Sun, 17 Dec 2017 14:45:38 -0500