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Quarantine: Contagion

Authors: Brian Henry

Published by Arc Publications

ISBN: 9781906570132

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Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award

Narrated by a man dying of the plague, Quarantine is a book-length poem that explores sexuality and subjectivity. Lying in a field beside his dead wife and son, the narrator describes the events leading up to his and his family's death. To counter-act the narrator's hold on the story, ten passages, written in the third-person, are interspersed throughout Quarantine, providing an objective vantage point.

"Henry… takes his speaker's voice to a gritty extreme."
Publishers Weekly

"Set at some mysterious, ill-defined moment in time - perhaps during the Middle Ages, it is a compulsively readable dramatic monologue which swims in and out of comprehensibility. Told in the first person, by a man lying beside a river, who may or may not be dead, its numbing, relentless manner of delivery puts you in mind of Beckett. Lines seem to overlap and echo each other. Yet it is not modishly grim. In fact, the entire sequence, as it builds and builds, is extraordinarily gripping - in spite of the fact that we proceed through it as if feeling our way through a chilling fog, unaware of our destination, unsure even of the ground beneath our feet."
Michael Glover
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