RENDANG | Granta

  • Published: 06/02/2020
  • ISBN: 9781783785605
  • Granta Books
  • 80 pages

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.

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

The best... With withering sleight of hand, Harris takes facile expectations of poets of colour and gleefully turns them inside out... These poems are disquisitions on the labour of poet-making, the delicate task of constructing a persona both on and off the page in a culture market currently inclined to reduce you to your ethno-cultural background... RENDANG is a wonder, and we are lucky to have it'

Poetry London

The Author

Will Harris is the author of RENDANG, published by Granta Books in 2020. He was co-editor of the spring 2020 issue of the Poetry Review.

More about the author →

Will Harris on Granta.com

In Conversation | The Online Edition

In Conversation

Sophie Collins & Will Harris

‘I’ve been dreaming wildly in lockdown. Have you?’

Poetry | Granta 152

At the Peckhamplex

Will Harris

‘the snow reflecting off / your torch was the / colour of your thoughts’

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

Best Book of 1921: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Will Harris

‘I wanted to understand the world and why it hurt, and soon I stumbled on the Tractatus’ Will Harris on the best book of 1921.