RENDANG | Granta

RENDANG

Will Harris

In RENDANG, Will Harris complicates and experiments with the lyric in a way that urges it forward. With an unflinching yet generous eye, RENDANG is a collection that engages equally with the pain and promise of self-perception. Drawing on his Anglo-Indonesian heritage, 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 sit next to us on the bus, walk with us through the crowd and talk to us while we’re chopping shallots. They deftly ask us to consider how and what we look at, as well as what we don’t look at and why.

Playing eruditely with and querying structures of narrative, with his use of the long poem, images, ekphrasis, and ruptured forms, RENDANG is a startling new take on the self, and how an identity is constructed. It is intellectual and accessible, moving and experimental, and combines a linguistic innovation with a deep emotional rooting.

  • Published: 06/02/2020
  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781783785599
  • 80 pages

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

Will Harris on Granta.com

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