Friday, July 30, 2010

Praise for A Pure River

Praise for A Pure River is rolling in. I'm excited that so many poets and editors have shown such interest in my chapbook and have provided such glowing reviews!

Here's what people have said:

"John Sibley Williams is undoubtedly one of the most significant new voices emerging in the 21st century. He represents poetry as it is supposed to be, with all the lessons of the past’s masters and a fresh flavor of a modern mind. Williams is intensely at home with half-objects, things almost said, entities that exist between reality and interpretation, fact and perception, memory and metaphor. The skillful ambiguity of his work is a dreamfiled for a sophisticated contemporary reader accustomed to inhabiting text and finding their own place within it, where interpretation contributes to a unique dialog between the poem and the reader. It is the poets like John Sibley Williams who remind us that there are mental and semantic fields yet to ponder, despite the millions that have already self-exploded from overexposure. In his capability to combine the minute exploration of the texture of being with a general compassion for the humankind it its many manifestations, Williams reminds us of such voices as Paul Celan, Paul Eluard and William Stafford. With this wonderful chapbook, he instantly becomes a literary phenomenon to reckon with."

-A. Molotkov, 2009 Pushcart Prize nominee and author of the novel everything

"John Sibley Williams is a poet of rare skill. Precise, spare, vivid; his images sneak from the page into the memory. Even when he’s describing abandoned towns, deserted roads, Williams sketches the rust belt, the desert, the Midwest, with aching beauty. An outsider with the eye of a poet, he catalogues his surroundings with accurate and playful detail. “People…define bad water/ as all rivers never crossed,” Williams says, but he isn’t afraid to cross the river and see what lies on the other side. His poems are one part travelogue, one part love-letters to America. He asks, “Would I too prefer to live slowly/ like how a child learns to speak/ than rush through a novel’s breadth before noon/ without recalling a single character’s eyes?” The answer is a resounding No! Williams takes his time, all the while searching for that “pure river.” Buy this book; beat the rush before Williams is the name on the tip of everyone’s tongue."

-CL Bledsoe is the author of _____(Want/Need) and Anthem and the editor for Ghoti Magazine.
"John Sibley Williams is truly gifted and well deserving of the awards and recognition his poems have garnered. He genuinely touches and inspires the heart of the reader through vivid images of the places he has been and chronicled so effectively. It has been my privilege to read, contemplate, and thoroughly enjoy A Pure River."

-Anita Lanning, Vice President of Central Oregon Writers Guild
"A Pure River is a travelogue through the archaisms and illusions of American society. John Sibley Williams's beautifully-cast rhythms refresh dry landscapes and display a discerning -- and buoyant -- intelligence that turns scenes of isolation into small planets with their own gravitational pull."

-Jerry Bradley, poetry editor of Concho River Review and author of Simple Versions of Disaster & The Importance of Elsewhere
A Pure River is a walk inside perceptions, a view into forever, with poetic scenery, emotion, and heart. This collection is a sojourn into the past and a trip cross-country; an experience of the soul.

-Deborah Stinson, editor of Unfettered Verse

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