Poetry and artwork - Henry Denander

Small Press Review - Weeks Like This

Book Review by Mark Terrill, Small Press Review September - October 2005:

Weeks Like This by Henry Denander, 2005; 104 pp; Pa; Bottle of Smoke Press, 902 Wilson Drive, Dover, DE 19904. $10 

Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Henry Denander is one of the most unpretentious and straigh-shooting poets out there these days. His off-hand understatement, subtle irony and humorous self-depreciation all combine to make him one of the most endearing as well.

Whereas other poets working in this vein might be categorized as "confessional", Denander fortunately lacks the requisite "attitude" to qualify for such pigeon-holing, due perhaps in part to Denander's living and working outside of the cultural lexicon of America's MFA-mainstream-McPoetry with its overwrought ideologies and confirming paradigms.

What a pleasure to read the work of a contemporary poet who does not seem obsessed with proving anything, but whose chief concern seems to be nothing more than telling it like it is. No latent erudite theory or quirky poetics; no art-for-art's-sake; no postmodern trickery or surface manipulation - just the humble voice of a gentle observer with a keen eye and a better grasp of the easy grace of the English language than many native speakers.

An impressive follow-up to his debut chapbook, I Know What She Would Say, and hopefully a portent of what's still to come.