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Send Word: Poems (Paperback)
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To be born is to 'cleave,' in the double sense of the word (to 'split from' and to 'cling to'): it is that first splitting which generates the urge to return, to bind.
These poems explore varieties of cleaving and their tensions, as the speaker navigates these across a lifetime: tensions between our feral and civil selves, between compliance and transgression, between connection and individuation, between containment and surrender, and between what the worlds of waking and dreaming each ask and offer.
Ultimately, these poems are about language itself as both a means and a way, as language imagines for itself a unity located exactly in the place between.
About the Author
Donna Henderson is the author of three previous collections of poems, two of which (Transparent Woman and The Eddy Fence) were finalists for the Oregon Book Award in Poetry. Her poems, song lyrics, essays, reviews and artwork appear in journals, anthologies, exhibits and recordings. A practicing psychotherapist, Donna lives with her husband, Rich Sutliff, on the banks of the Deschutes River in north-central Oregon.
Advance Praise for "Send Word"
“Like a whisper, the question what is a life? breathes through Donna Henderson’s new collection. From these occasionally wry, often tender, always sonically lush poems coalesces a definition: a life is not a vessel to be filled, but to be emptied and restored and poured out again, endlessly shuttling energies between receiver and giver. Listening, language, and song are the currents that fill us, energize us, and connect us to others. Listen, this speaker says to us,
to your own, that other loneliness that is our vast capacity. / I thought it longed for filling. // It longs to sing.”
Praise for The "Eddy Fence"
“Donna Henderson has a transforming power of sheer attention, a grave, distinguished focus, so that even grief is changed by precision, an exhilarating quality of getting it right. […] In truth, the two kinds of precision are one: a self-aware mind sees this well, and the custom of meticulous looking—in this poet’s work— sharpens insight.”
Praise for "Transparent Woman"
“Donna Henderson’s poetry evinces at every turn the one unteachable characteristic of a poet: an ear. to reread any one of her poems is to experience that poem afresh.”
“In poems that seem to burst from their contexts, she brings the reader with her in such a way that one cannot doubt that after the human drama plays out, beauty remains, shining…”
— Susan Spady, Calyx Journal