A speculative-poetic work from the Forward Prize-winning, T.S. Eliot shortlisted author of RENDANG
At the heart of Brother Poem is a sequence addressed to a fictional brother. Through these fragments, Will Harris attempts to reckon with the past while mourning what never existed.
The text moves, cloud-like, through states of consciousness, beings and geographies, to create a moving portrait of contemporary anxieties around language and the need to communicate. With pronominal shifts, broken dialogisms, and obsessive feedback loops, it reflects on the fictions we tell ourselves, and in our attempts to live up to the demands of others.
From a dimension uncannily like our own, intuited through signs, whispers, and glitches, Brother Poem is shadowed by the loss of what can't be seen. Telling stories of bizarre familial reckonings and difficult relationships, about love and living with others, it is a deeply sensitive coming-of-age poetics.
Big Loom • Cuttlefish • Free Will • Four Real Texts • In Anxiety Dreams • After 'The Quinine Plant' • Red Balloon • Coffee in October • Commute Songs • Two Clay Figures • The Mower • Innocence • Weather & Address • Blue Bird • Brother Poem• Notes
"With Brother Poem, Will Harris begins again, as all strong poets must with each book, and the lyricism and formal intelligence he demonstrated in his first book are only more impressive here."~Shane McCrae, author of Cain Named the Animal
"After the triumph of RENDANG, Will Harris takes us in this captivating new collection to a place altogether stranger, where the self is polished to a blur and memory a series of forking paths: 'Each time / you forget & remember the experience / becomes truer.' With uncommon brilliance and linguistic originality, this is a book that unpicks the myths we weave around ourselves as individuals or as nations. Harris is a poet I turn to for the solace of an idea perfectly caught. These are poems to dwell in; they challenge and restore."~Sarah Howe, author of Loop of Jade
"In Brother Poem Will Harris questions the real in everyday life and words, through crumbs of the past, crumbs of experience, through absence and loss, through media harm, 'cloudless dream,' and 'river mind,' migrating in the lines—what to say and how or to whom to address it? When the spirit moves as they do in these poems to you, carried forth in 'I-not-I' and others, bound by Harris's scopic reach and cortical hum, crackling like lightning in a jar, released into our cells of shared feelings, we jubilate."~Jeffrey Yang, author of Line and Light
"No one in America sounds quite like this London writer. Big feelings alternate with self-conscious reflection in sequences that skip or splay across the page, coming to rest in sudden, wise conclusions"~Stephanie Burt, New York Times
"I found this book to be interesting and memorable...Harris seems to have a vision of poetry, poetics, and what he'd like his own poems to do and explore."~Victoria Chang, Los Angeles Review of Books