Henry, Brian 1972-
Henry, Brian 1972-
Born 1972. Education: College of William and Mary, B.A.; University of Massachusetts—Amherst, M.F.A.
Office—English Department, University of Richmond, Ryland Hall, Richmond, VA 23173. E-mail—[email protected]
Poet. University of Georgia, Athens, former associate professor of English; University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, associate professor of English and creative writing.
Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, Poetry Society of America, 2003, for Quarantine.
Astronaut: Poems, Arc Publications (Lancashire, England), 2000, Carnegie Mellon University Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 2002.
American Incident (poetry), Salt Publishing (Cambridge, England), 2002.
Graft (poetry), New Issues/Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI), 2003.
(Editor, with Andrew Zawacki) The Verse Book of Interviews: 27 Poets on Language, Craft & Culture, Verse Press (Amherst, MA), 2005.
Quarantine (poetry), Ahsahta Press, Boise State University (Boise, ID), 2006.
In the Unlikely Event of a Water, Equipage (Cambridge, England), 2006.
The Stripping Point, Counterpath Press (Denver, CO), 2007.
Contributor to books, including Imagining Australia: Literature and Culture in the New New World, edited by Judith Ryan and Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004. Poems have appeared in anthologies, including The Forward Book of Poetry 2001, Forward Publishing, 2000; The Best of the Prose Poem, edited by Peter Johnson, White Pine Press, 2000; American Poetry: The Next Generation, edited by Gerald Costanzo and Jim Daniels, Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2000; The Forward Book of Poetry 2003, Forward Publishing, 2003; Isn't It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets, edited by Brett Fletcher Lauer and Aimee Kelly, Verse Press, 2004; and The Wadsworth Anthology of Poetry, edited by Jay Parini, Wadsworth, 2005. Contributor of poetry criticism to periodicals, including Times Literary Supplement, Georgia Review, New York Times Book Review, Boston Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Jacket. Editor, Verse, 1995—.
In collections like American Incident, Graft, and Quarantine, American poet Brian Henry establishes himself as a writer of power and craft, according to reviewers. His early works, explained a Publishers Weekly critic, "flaunted his skill with verbal disjunction and whimsical cut-up tales." Later collections examine the relationship between the universe of language and the physical world. In Graft, Henry explained in an interview published on the Here Comes Everybody blog, "I was interested in exploring the poem as a place where the body and the landscape meet, and in exploring the body as landscape, and in looking at the relationships between erotic desire and sex and violence." "I think the role for the poet," the writer declared, "is to write poems, be vigilant about language, and do something concrete (other than writing poems) to benefit poetry and other poets." Quarantine also explores the verbal and physical universes and the relationship between the two. The collection tells the story of a seventeenth-century Englishman dying of the plague that has already killed his wife and child. The work, Henry stated in his Here Comes Everybody blog interview, "begins with a corpse speaking, so a dead/dying body governs much of the piece, which focuses on decay, physical and spiritual death, disease, etc." In Quarantine, a Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded, Henry "takes his speaker's voice to a gritty extreme."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, October 6, 2003, review of Graft, p. 81; March 13, 2006, review of Quarantine, p. 44.
Here Comes Everybody blog,http://www.inblogs.net (November 9, 2006), interview with Brian Henry.
University of Richmond Department of English Web site,http://english.richmond.edu/ (November 9, 2006), brief biography of Brian Henry.