Thief in the Interior

Thief in the Interior


Phillip B. Williams

Recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award for Poetry
2017 Lambda Literary Awards Winner
Nominated for the 2017 NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry
2017 Etching Press Whirling Prize Winner
2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award Winner
2016 INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist
2017 Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award Finalist
2017 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
2017 Nominee for 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry
Shortlisted for Chicago Review of Books Award in Poetry
One of BET’s “12 Must-Read Books for 2016”

“[Williams] sings for the vanished, for the haunted, for the tortured, for the lost, for the place on the horizon where the little boat of the human body disappears in a wingdom of unending grace.”
—The Best American Poetry

January 2016

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Phillip B. Williams Author Photo.jpg

Phillip B. Williams is a Chicago, Illinois native and the author of the chapbooks Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom Inc. 2011) and Burn(YesYes Books, 2013). He is a Cave Canem graduate and received scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers Conference and a 2013 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Anti-CallalooKenyon Review OnlinePoetryThe Southern ReviewWest Branch and others. Phillip received his MFA in Writing as a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow at the Washington University in St. Louis. He is the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry.

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Additional Praise:

“[Thief in the Interior] is vast, wonderful, and achingly sad.”
Book Riot

“To experience [Phillip B. William’s] poetry is to encounter a lucid, unmitigated humanity, a voice for whom language is inadequate, yet necessarily grasped, shaped, and consumed. His devout and excruciating attention to the line and its indispensable music fuses his implacable understanding of words with their own shadows.”
—Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Boston Review

“This gorgeous debut is a ‘debut’ in chronology only, a rare poetic event that transcends our expectations. Williams’s poems embody balance: uncompromising and magnetic, surprising and intuitive. Need is everywhere—in the unforgiving images, in lines so delicate they seem to break apart in the hands, and in the reader who will enter these poems and never want to leave.” —Adrian Matejka, author of The Big Smoke

“Not just more of the artfully skill-less, conceptual talk of a poem, this is what you’ve been waiting for: some poetry. Not just skill as possession, as a commodity, but skill to accomplish the expressive event, a deeply felt poetic argument. For example Williams’ line is no arbitrary unit of type, but an effective musically syntactic accomplishment of line. Poetry!”
—Ed Roberson

“The seasoned reader of poetry will be impressed that Thief in the Interior is Phillip B. Williams’s first collection. His control of the line is masterful, and his syntax eschews, for the most part, direct or simple delivery of language, creating a formal and solemn tone that scores the emotional pitches of the book.”
Los Angeles Book Review

“Williams demonstrates an astounding technical mastery of poetic forms that goes far beyond form for form’s sake, as he repeats, reconfigures, and recontextualizes words and phrases in order to create continuity and multifaceted meanings.”
Muzzle Magazine

“Williams’ poems never cease to give you that “Aha!” moment as you read through the poem again and again to discover yet another layer of meaning. His calls for justice, for things in the dark to be brought out to the light, do not go unheard.”
San Diego Review

“[Williams’] lyricism is full of interruptions—into and out of history, in and out of metaphor, in and out of the violence of being a body.”
“30 Poets You Should Be Reading”

“. . . Thief in the Interior is a remarkable collection that balances engagement with both the horrific and the beautiful.
Southern Humanities Review

Thief in the Interior does what a collection of poems should do. It draws its reader in and forces its reader to think, to admire, to observe, to question and to whip out the notebook and go nuts on the adjectives—dynamic, robust, dominant, vigorous, inventive, vigorous, original, musical, original, and adroit.”
The Adroit Journal

Thief in the Interior damns and redeems, and represents a truly worthwhile literary experience.”

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