Ordinary Sun by Matthew Henriksen

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Henriksen opens Ordinary Sun by insisting that "an eye is not enough." Resisting solipsism, these poems negotiate that conflict between the mind and what exists outside the mind. Though pain intrinsically resides in that conflict Henriksen strives for an honest happiness, a kind of gorgeous suffering that blesses our days. To this end, these poems emerge from images of all those innumerable things that embody both visceral and ethereal beauty--rocks, trees, broken glass, baseball, angels... Here we find immediacy immersed in the image, and in the reading of these poems becomes ourselves immersed in the immediate.

Praise for Ordinary Sun:

"If T.S. Eliot and Gram Parsons were both dug up and placed in the same small room with just a bottle of whiskey, Fox News and a couple of angels for company, the only contemporary poet they would bother fighting over would be Matthew Henriksen, their prodigal son. What rough age has bore us, I wonder, that we so need Matthew Henriksen's cruel kind of song? If he doesn't let up, they'll probably end up naming him the poet laureate of something and staple the names of the dead to his chest."
--Tony Tost

"Could attention be a form of violence? Matt Henriksen's speaker tests the surface of things as with a knife-blade, learning its tensile qualities, trying to do no harm. He confronts Nature's cipher, its true face and its false face, its audible face and its ocular face, its adorned face and its blank face. This is metaphysical inquiry wherein the smallest unit opens on the largest, something on nothing, the living on the dead."
--Joyelle McSweeney


About Matthew Henriksen

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Matthew Henriksen is the author of ORDINARY SUN (Black Ocean, 2011) and the chapbooks Another Word (DoubleCross Press, 2009) and Is Holy (horse less press, 2006). Some recent poems appear in FENCE, Realpoetik , Raleigh Quarterly , Alice Blue Review , Sink Review , The Cultural Society , Handsome Journal , and Two Weeks . He co- edits Typo , an online poetry journal, and publishes Cannibal Books, a book arts poetry press. From 2005 to 2008 he organized The Burning Chair Readings in Brooklyn and now hosts irregular readings throughout the country. A special feature of Frank Stanford's unpublished poems and fiction, selected by Henriksen, will appear in Fulcrum #7 . He lives and teaches in the Ozark Mountains.
Published February 7, 2011 by Black Ocean. 120 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ordinary Sun

Publishers Weekly

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Henriksen's debut is one of the most striking collections from a small press this year.

May 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Ordinary Sun

Newcity Lit

“What I cannot find in the morning is most myself.” Thus writes Matthew Henriksen in his new book, “Ordinary Sun,” a collection of poems that engage in self-exploration and the analysis of our internal existence in comparison to our outer world.

Mar 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Ordinary Sun

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