One of CBC Books poetry collections to watch in 2023
Farhang honors the people, places, and things Patrick Woodcock has seen while working as a migrant writer, volunteer, and teacher for almost three decades. This book is the first of three that will celebrate, memorialize, or eulogize the myriad moments that impacted his life while also shaping the shade and content of his writing. Beginning in Poland in 1994 and ending in the hamlet of Paulatuk in the Northwest Territories in 2022, Farhang travels the globe through Lithuania, Russia, Iceland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, the Kurdish North of Iraq, Azerbaijan, Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda. From the salt mines in Wieliczka to the dirt paths to the Baraa government school in Tanzania, where he volunteered, Woodcock has tried to honor the moment before it becomes muddled, dulled, or romanticized. Some of the poems are about friends or students, others are about the cracked knuckles of strangers, the crawling and the abandoned. Art, language, architecture, politics, and the suffering from politicians left unchecked are also a focus. Sadly, many of the poems are for friends and locations lost to either time, neglect, or warfare. Farhang tries to chronicle some of what no longer exists or only lives on in the poet’s head and soul.
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After volunteering for two years in Arusha, Tanzania, at Baraa Primary School and two years in Paulatuk, NT, for CUSO International, Patrick Woodcock now resides in Iqaluit, NU. While completing the manuscript for Farhang Book Two, he is the instructor/coordinator for the national charitable literary organization United for Literacy.
Published: September 2023
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.
“Woodcock, himself a talent...like many writers, seem a quiet presence in a noisy, unforgiving world, a balm of sorts, avuncular and steady but in truth, also like many—hell, most—writers of of any consequence, the words he proffers to the page limn the marrow of human existence with a keen, worldly, unsparing heart.” — Stereo Embers Magazine
“Woodcock’s poems not only capture the moment and myriad of emotions, but like all great poetry, they expand upon it and take it somewhere unique yet still universal.” — The Galway Review
“If the other two books are as moving as this first one, then Woodcock will have to be considered a poet of considerable standing.” — The Lake
“The poems are so well written, engaging and packed with powerful imagery and ideas.” — The Book Lover’s Boudoir
“Farhang: Book One by Patrick Woodcock is a stunning and devastating collection that will make a lasting impression.” — Savvy Verse & Wit Blog