DURA's StAnza 2021 reviews: Rendang

Sunday 14 February 2021

Will Harris’ debut collection explores a range of issues many of which circle around belonging and ancestry, of finding a voice to bridge the faultlines of cultural and personal identity (Harris has Chinese-Indonesian-British ancestry).  It opens with rootlessness but Harris’ distinctive response is to pose the challenge of such fractures as one of poetics. Reassemblage, pursued initially through Derek Walcott’s broken pottery metaphor is posed as a question, not an answer: ‘That can’t be taken; granted’ (‘State-Building’), the semi-colon positioned between words holds different reading possibilities.... The collection as a whole shuttles between real and imagined states, between locations (Indonesia, Turkey, Illionois, London among others), and betwixt high and popular in a way that disrupts conventionalised hierarchies; in traversing ruptures, Harris shows a striking ability to ‘complex stitch’ tableaux, situations, textual fragments and allusions seamlessly.... 

This is an excerpt of a review on the DURA website by Gail Low of Will Harris' Rendang. For more information on Harris at StAnza21, please click HERE. To read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage.