These are not love poems. These are almost-love poems. Jittery, plaintive, and fresh, these are poems voiced through a startling variety of speakers who continually rev themselves up to the challenge of connecting with others, often to no avail. Ian Williams writes in traditional poetic forms: ghazals, a pantoum, blank sonnets, mock-heroic couplets. He also invents his own: poems that spin into indeterminacy, poems that don’t end. With a deft hand and playful ear, Williams entices the reader to stumble alongside his characters as they search, again and again, for intimacy, for love, and for each other.
“Williams has a way with ballooning inconsequential small moments into great significance like a moony newspaper personals’ writer. Williams uses the hook of newspaper personals to not only showcase his talent but highlight how aware we all are of everything nowadays yet feel we’ve missed the magic moment.” – The Telegraph Journal
“Ian Williams…plays with language in powerful ways in Personals,often using simple words or phrases as litanies…Williams has a knack for revitalizing conventional lyric subjects while dealing with the language and reality of contemporary corporate bureaucracy.” – The Winnipeg Free Press
Griffin Poetry Prize, 2013 (short-listed)
ReLit Award, 2013 (short-listed)