I’ve always found poetry a bit intimidating. Sometimes I think I know where one is going, then out of nowhere I’m thrown for a loop and left puzzled with a ring of SAT prep words circling my head like cartoon birds. Some are confusing from the get-go.
I was determined this week, however, to dive into “Binded,” a collection of poetry by Fairbanks poet and musician H Warren, that arrived in the Clarion’s mailbox earlier this year. An insert from the publishing company that caught my eye teased a debut collection that interrogates “the courage it takes to heal and exist in the world today” as a nonbinary person living in rural Alaska.
“Binded” was exactly as advertised.
Across roughly 75 pages, Warren presents 50 poems that vary in length and focus. There are many that outline the various emotions and experiences of being nonbinary, some that directly nod to things happening in Alaska, and others that offer a tender look into the author’s life.