book
August 4, 2020
9780819579898
English
80
1 b&w halftone
7.75 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
.25 Pounds (US)
$15.95 USD, £11.95 GBP
v2.1 Reference
ebook
August 4, 2020
9780819579904
9780819579898
English
80
1 b&w halftone
7.75 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
$12.99 USD, £9.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

RENDANG

Using long poems, ekphrasis, and ruptured forms, RENDANG is a startling new take on the self, and how an identity is constructed. Drawing on his Anglo-Indonesian heritage, Will Harris shows us new ways to think about the contradictions of identity and cultural memory. He creates companions that speak to us in multiple languages. They deftly ask us to consider how and what we look at, as well as what we don't look at and why. It is intellectual and accessible, moving and experimental, and combines a linguistic innovation with a deep emotional rooting.


"The Hanged Man"

He bought a seeded loaf and two ripe and ready avocados
and left them in the hallway, and at lunch the next day went
to Chipotle on Charing Cross Road, then back to work,

and afterwards bought a ring doughnut from Tesco
because there were no jam doughnuts.

That night, though he didn't think he was a hoarder,
he started ordering records online and soon he had bought
the whole of Bruce Springsteen's back catalogue.

I hate Bruce Springsteen, he thought. I want to eat better.

The next week, listening to Human Touch, he dozed
and woke to find himself floating two feet off the ground.

Hanging there. His parents were alive and dead.
If only he could keep completely still he could remain
unscattered, forever on the edge of rain.

About the Author

WILL HARRIS is a London-based poet who has published with the Guardian, the London Review of Books, Granta, The Poetry Review, and The White Review.

Reviews

"I reject the possibility of narrating any life other than my own,' Harris writes, 'and need a voice capacious enough to be both me and not-me, / while always clearly being me.' To counter those who would approach him and his work seeking easy ethnography, he has taken the notion of the authentic poetic persona ('authenticity' so often being used as a stick to beat poets of colour, or measure them – which amount to the same thing) and flipped it like an empty party cup, "revealing its flimsiness."—Poetry London

"Harris offers an urgent and moving exploration of cultural identity and legacy, one made all the richer by its unique narrative structure and playful attention to sound."—Publishers Weekly

"The poetry that matters to me is never just self-expression; it expresses our embeddedness in each other. "I" and "you" are markers for that. They hold—with numerous slips and spillages the light and dark speech that becomes us, the manifold quirks and cadences, fantasies and faults. And I don't see this as naively utopian. Any coming together entails a breakage—a loss of wholeness—which can be painful and disillusioning."—Literary Hub

Endorsements

"Will Harris takes British poetry into new waters: RENDANG is an astonishing debut. These questing poems rend and render, they tear and they give. Slipping between the everyday and the unreal, between crystalline lyric and a roving, essayistic expansiveness, their shapeshifting delves into the self and its precarious foundations... Many are heart-stopping: the kind of poem that makes you put down the book for a while just to breathe."—Sarah Howe, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize

"Harris's poems turn the utterance back to ourselves, opening a dialogue between us, our modernity, the depth of our loss and the weight of our remembering. Where epithets rend memory from the moment, the artefacts of wounds heal themselves through a weft of irony, weaving language into a hard-earned scar."—Sandeep Parmar

9780819579898 : rendang-harris
book
80 Pages
$15.95 USD
9780819579904 : rendang-harris
ebook
80 Pages
$12.99 USD

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