“Williams does what few poets can. Through a language of carefully formed intensity, he takes you into that domain only poetry can really inhabit, that place in the heart and soul of things, grounded on life itself. Without fear or false witness, with an imaginative genesis rooted in personal and collective histories, Williams accepts his inheritance of a world that is ours where, against war and murder, moral amnesia, and tribal and political violence, the poet joins with those everywhere who still, no matter the cost, try to say something true…”
Available in print.
David Williams is also the author of Far Sides of the Only World (Carolina Wren Press, October 2004). His work has appeared in dozens of magazines, including The Atlantic, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Kenyon Review, and Orion, as well as several anthologies, including Poetry from the Amicus Journal (Natural Resources Defense Council), Post-Gibran: New Arab-American Writing (Syracuse University Press), Stories from Where We Live (Milkweed Editions), and Dinarzad’s Children: Contemporary Arab-American Fiction (University of Arkansas, 2004). His writing is discussed at length in Memory and Cultural Politics: New American Ethnic Literatures (Northeastern University Press).
“The poems of David Williams have the power to electrify, to stun us into clearer, larger consciousness. Through the gift of Traveling Mercies, we have access to a voice which is, at once, tender and utterly sturdy, compassionate yet unflinching, exquisitely sensitive to the places where lives break apart and the linkages which soothe them into healing. These graceful, melodious poems brilliantly span the old world and the new, and the future which must contain both if we are to live in it. Wherever this voice travels, I want to travel too.”
—Naomi Shihab Nye
“There are very few poets who blend craft and commitment like David Williams. He has an exquisite instinct for capturing one moment that might summarize centuries of struggle. The language of the poems is so tactile you can feel it in your hands. Williams speaks on behalf of those without an opportunity to be heard…This poet is a lyrical rebel.”
More by the author: