Chicago - Nov. 15, 2018
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View From True North

In these edgy poems of witness, Sara Henning's speaker serves as both conduit and curator of the destructive legacies of alcoholism and multigenerational closeting. Considering the impact of addiction and sexual repression in the family and on its individual members, Henning explores with deft compassion the psychological ramifications of traumas across multiple generations.

henningpoetry.jpg

With the starling as an unspoken trope for victims who later perpetuate the cycle of abuse, suffering and shame became forces dangerous enough to down airliners. The strands Henning weaves - violent relationships, the destructive effects of long-term closeting, and the pall that shame casts over entire lives - are hauntingly epiphanic.

And yet these feverish lyric poems find a sharp beauty in their grieving, where Rolling Stone covers and hidden erotic photographs turn into talismans of regret and empathy. After the revelation that her deceased grandfather was a closeted homosexual "who lived two lives," Henning considers the lasting effects of shame in regard to the silence, oppression, and erasure of sexual identity, issues that are of contemporary concern to the LGBTQIA community.

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At the Plains Writers Series in 2015:

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on November 1, 2018


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