Ian Williams writes challenging poetry. His poems address the crisis of young, black masculinity in cities, paint starkly urban portraits of life and break open stereotypes. Sly humour laces through this collection, and Williams is adept at playing with language to change meanings in unexpected ways. For him it's easy to turn the word go into gone.
About the author
Ian Williams is the author of the Giller Prize–winning novel Reproduction. His last poetry collection Personals was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award. His short story collection, Not Anyone’s Anything, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada. His first book, You Know Who You Are, was a finalist for the ReLit Poetry Prize.
Williams holds a Ph.D. in English at the University of Toronto and is currently an assistant professor of poetry in the Creative Writing program at the University of British Columbia. He was the 2014-2015 Canadian Writer-in-Residence for the University of Calgary’s Distinguished Writers Program.
"Rather than whimsy, Williams uses humour and play like the best comics to address difficult contemporary issues such as race, relationships or the 21st century. Like all intriguing new voices, he excels at giving you not what you want, but what you need." - Telegraph-Journal
"Williams' hand reaches out from these pages and pulls, pulls, pulls the heart by its truest beat. He drags us to the mirror and makes us look unflinchingly at who we are. And in the end, he allows us to love ourselves." - Poets' Quarterly
"Williams' ability to easily transition between scenes of gloom and pessimism to scenes of hope, makes You Know Who You Are a diverse collection, rooted in authenticity and powerful words." - H Mag