“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.’”
“I honor and admire these poems for their groundwork understanding. Here, oppression is shown forth as a condition of language, a violence of syntax. And here, in resistance to oppression, extraordinariness lifts a beautiful, if harried, affirming sound. With signal integrity, the poet exploits no popular catastrophe but chooses, instead, to enter the mythic heart of catastrophe, there to make new myths.”
—Donald Revell, citing Graft for the Poetry Society of America’s 2001 George Bogin Memorial Award
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), andThe 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, andThe Kenyon Review. He currently teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Richmond in Virginia.