Debut collection of poems written in the sweat, blood, and grease of those who labour in the oilfields.
Shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry (2013)
Shortlisted for the Gerard Lampert Award (2013)
Inspired largely by the poet's experiences as a young man working in the Saskatchewan oilfields, Mathew Henderson's The Lease explores masculinity and the roles morality, violence, and hard labor play in it. Equal parts character study, cultural documentary, and coming-of-age narrative, Henderson's poems make it clear that however we may try to stay apart from them, the stubborn and often unflattering realities of masculine culture persist, not just in isolated, dangerous environments like this, but in our very idea of what work is.
No mark survives this place: you too will yield
to unmemory. Give everything you are
in three-day pieces. Watch the gypsy iron
move, follow its commands.
Tend the rusted steel like a shepherd.
Shortlisted for the 2013 Gerald Lampert Award, presented by the League of Canadian Poets
Mathew Henderson lives in Toronto, Ontario, writes about the prairies, and teaches at Humber College. The Lease is his first collection of poetry.