These are not love poems. These are almost-love poems. Jittery, plaintive, and fresh, Personals is voiced through a startling variety of speakers who continually rev themselves up to the challenge of connecting with others, often to no avail. Williams writes in traditional poetic forms: ghazals, a pantoum, blank sonnets, mock-heroic couplets, and creates forms of 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, for each other.
Ian Williams is the author of Not Anyone's Anything (stories, Freehand, 2011) and You Know Who You Are (poems, Wolsak and Wynn, 2010). He completed his Ph.D. in English at the University of Toronto and is currently an English professor at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. Williams has held fellowships or residencies from Vermont Studio Center, Cave Canem, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Palazzo Rinaldi in Italy. He was also a scholar at the National Humanities Center Summer Institute for Literary Study. His writing has appeared in Fiddlehead, Arc, Contemporary Verse 2, Rattle, jubilat, Confrontation, The Antigonish Review, Gargoyle, Folio, Pebble Lake Review, Callaloo, Descant, and Matrix Magazine. He divides his time between Ontario and Massachusetts.