Monday, August 30, 2010

Centrifugal Eye Book Review

The August 2010 issue of The Centrifugal Eye includes a book review of "River Poems: An Anthology of Poetry on the Allure of Rivers", which included my poem Two Hometowns on the Same River. On pgs. 93 and 94, this review references Two Hometowns! An excellent article all around, and I'm pleased to see my poem referenced twice!

This Week's Poem


Forever and an hour my headlights swallow
figures not defined enough to wear “tree”
sprouting from a darkness that is not quite nothing.

-published by Eclectica Magazine

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010


My hometown weekly newspaper, The Town Crier (in Wilmington, MA), just published a 2-page interview with me beginning on the front page! Titled "Poet Navigates 'A Pure River'", it deals with my writing process and history, my passion for poetry, and the impetus and hardships behind my new chapbook, A Pure River. I'm honored and humbled that so much space was devoted to the article! Unfortunately, the paper does not have an online presence, so I cannot link it here. But if you're from MA you can easily find it!

Third Wednesday Acceptance

Third Wednesday has accepted two of my poems for publication in their next print issue- Portrait of My Grandmother and Baltic Covenant. Of Baltic Covenant, the editorial board said, "Each word is carefully weighed and set in place and invites return."

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Address for Pre-Orders

My mailing address has changed for all chapbook orders or communications. Please send all mail to:

John Sibley Williams
5142 SW Slavin Rd, Apt 82
Portland, OR 97239

Upcoming Poetry Reading at St Johns Booksellers

Saturday 9/11/10 (10am-noon)- Market Day Poetry Table: Portland poets John Sibley Williams, A. Molotkov, and Shawn Austin will be reading and discussing poetry at a Market Day poetry table in front of St Johns Booksellers (8622 N. Lombard St, Portland).
Sunday 9/26/10 (2-3pm)- Poetry Reading: All three poets will give a free poetry reading at St Johns Booksellers.

John Sibley Williams is a poet and book publicist residing in Portland, OR. He has a previous MA in Writing and presently studies Book Publishing at Portland State University, where he serves as Acquisitions Manager of Ooligan Press and publicist for Three Muses Press. His poetry was nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize, and his debut chapbook, A Pure River, is forthcoming from The Last Automat Press. Some of his over 100 previous or upcoming publications include: The Evansville Review, Ellipsis, Flint Hills Review, Euphony, Open Letters, Cadillac Cicatrix, Juked, The Journal, Hawaii Review, Cutthroat, The Furnace Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Aries, and River Oak Review.

A. Molotkov is a writer, composer, filmmaker and visual artist. Although he has been writing fiction and poetry for over 25 years, his more recent involvement with other art forms allows him to approach the creative process from various angles, with individual parts contributing to a greater whole. Molotkov is the author of several novels, short story and poetry collections and the winner of the 2008 E. M. Koeppel Short Fiction Award for his short story “Round Trip”, which was nominated for a Pushcart. His fiction and poetry has appeared in or accepted by the Hawaii Pacific Review, Peralta Press, Acquillrelle, Gival Press, Epicenter, Suger Mule and elsewhere. His debut CD “Can You Stay Forever”, an ambitious project utilizing 15 musicians, has received glowing reviews. A. Molotkov is quickly becoming known in the Portland poetry community for his exceptional skills at oral presentation. In February 2010, Molotkov spearheaded a one-hour performance “Love Outlives Us” presented by the Show and Tell Gallery and repeated on KBOO in June.

Shawn is a founding member of the artistic movement called, “Inflectionism”. He is also co-founder of the Portland based poetry meetup group “The Moonlit Poetry Caravan”. He credits history, art, his work in the Field of Mental Health, and the climate of the NW as major influences that come peeking out of his writing.

This Week's Poem

Still the World

Why fret the vastness of the world?
Trample endlessly its belly, hungering
for its thighs. Embrace there a sun,
sweat it out, dreaming of frost.
Return full-circle
to kiss the winter dew of its forehead.
It amounts to the same
if never you broke the landscape
of your semi-circled arms,
the digested minutia of your home
spun in earthworm time,
regretting the absence
of foreign suns and frosts.

Still the world
fits snugly an eye socket,
is the size of the last dime
in your pocket
you’ve been saving
to quench your thirst.

-published by Paradigm

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Pure River now in Powell's

My debut chapbook, A Pure River, is now available in Powell's, both physically and online. For the former, you'll find it at Powell's on Hawthorne. Use this link to find it online. It should be at the main Burnside location soon enough...

So next time you're there, and if you are hopefully you're visiting the small press section anyway (they always need your love and support), take a look...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Scrambler

The August 2010 issue of The Scrambler is now online, including my poem "Equinox".

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tonight I have finally broken the spines

Other Rooms Press has just accepted for publication my poem "Tonight I have finally broken the spines", part of my series titled Syllables From Our Conversation, which is on its way toward a book-length manuscript. Syllables is an experiment in shorter poems without titles, mostly conceptual instead of narrative, which taken separately are syllables within the words of an ongoing conversation. "Tonight" is one of the first to be published and should be available at Other Rooms later in August.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More Praise for A Pure River

We are told a picture is worth a thousand words. In his collection of travel-based poems, A Pure River, John Sibley Williams proves that the right words can paint a thousand pictures. Each poem in this collection is a snapshot capturing both the landscape and emotion of Williams’ cross-country travels. His observations of rusted boxcars, abandoned barns, and monuments atop bridges become entry points into the scenic highways of human existence. Williams invites readers to leave behind their travel brochures and venture with their hearts to destinations not found on most postcards.

Williams’ writing is filled with vivid descriptions, but it is never ostentatious. His poetry begs to be savored. Readers will enjoy how he can take an event as mundane as watching a black and white cowboy film in his hotel room and turn it into an exploration of the soul’s movement. If cameras could capture images the way Williams captures them with words, no one would dread the question “Would you like to see the pictures I took on my trip?”

-Vinnie Kinsella, editor of Four and Twenty

Monday, August 16, 2010

Two Poetry Acceptances Today

Some wonderful news on a smoldering summer day...two of my poems have been accepted for publication by two different journals!

The Scrambler, an e-zine and micro press, will be publishing my poem Equinox very soon, and Tipton Poetry Journal will be publishing Et Cetera, a poem previously published, so I'm particularly excited that it's found more than one home...a good day, indeed!

This Week's Poem

I’m Reading Sunday’s Headlines That Call for Things Like Justice

I want stone
or a word for stone-
you can’t have both.

And though my childhood
spent chucking stones at
lakes, factories, friends

bled many mouths,
they have forgiven
or forgotten me

and in forever recounting to new
lovers, bartenders, friends
the sins acquired these first thirty years,

the repetition- stone stone stone-
has regressed to word
the smooth reality of stone

and the weighty joy in singing
silently my hands’ actions-
whatever their consequence.

-published by The New Verse News

The Books are Here!

My chapbook, A Pure River, is officially out! Thank you everyone who pre-ordered a copy; they are in the mail. And review copies have been mailed, so I look forward to a gentle media breeze. I have already been approached by my hometown newspaper, Town Crier (Wilmington, MA), for an article, which I'll post info on once it's been published...

Copies can be ordered from The Last Automat Press or directly from me via check or paypal.

Monday, August 9, 2010

This Week's Poem

Surely I’m Convinced

a word understood must have been uttered aloud.

a word uttered must travel vast distances
to define itself.

one word will some day imbue
the rest with meaning.

Surely I’m Convinced

the winter wind speaks
to one person at a time,
and just now I possess its conversation.

the snow owl communicates with god
through its wake of rodent bones and fur.

utter silence has no counterpart.

-previously published by Open Letters & Unfettered Verse

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stonehenge Studios reading this Sunday

This Sunday, August 8, a few friends and I will be performing at an open mic via Stonehenge Studios!

Where: Ross Island Cafe, 3508 SW Corbett Avenue, Portland
When: Sunday, August 8, 7-9pm

Monday, August 2, 2010

Further Praise for A Pure River

"Williams employs an austere selection of metaphoric language that serves to intensify his imagery and reveal layered meanings. What furthermore makes him an accomplished poet is his ability to summon fresh redolence out of old images, skillfully evoked in poems such as A Certain Pasture Near Gettysburg and Farmer?s Almanac. In the same vein, Traveling Through the Rust Belt and Idaho, Moments After Sunset are exemplary of what succeeds in poetry through their resiliently subtle power of pastoral, if not stark and lonely imagery -- the very kind that recalls great poets such as James Wright and Walt McDonald.
I have been reviewing works of poetry for over ten years, and I find John Sibley Williams chapbook among the best. It thus comes with my highest recommendation."

-Jeff Alfier, editor of San Pedro River Review

I would like to thank everyone, editors and poets alike, who have been so kind as to read and review A Pure River. I'm overwhelmed by the kind and perceptive responses, many of which I have posted here. For those who are interested in purchasing a copy, they are due out in a few weeks. Please email me at for more info or to contact me. I have set up a paypal account for payments ($12 including shipping) or check, money order, or cash via postal mail (address 5160 SW Slavin Rd, Apt 61, Portland, Or 97239). Or they can be purchased directly from the publisher, The Last Automat Press.

This Week's Poem

The Day Before

Today is no different
and will pass without a word,
will holler and vanish in a storm cloud
that in a season
will return us calm tides and birds.

The shells spiraling toward center
could as easily be heading away.
Is that not reason enough to rejoice?


What low tide lays bare
might not be expected
but someone once pitched
everything we find here into the sea,

making this act of rediscovery
its own strenuous abandonment.


If we could not remember
the day before
would the waves speak
a less weighty dialect?

Without history would its torchbearers
pine like the rest of us
for definition
and for an image of ourselves

Without love’s deeds and its failures
would I be left wondering alone by the sea
why the severity of my hands?

-published in Arlington Literary Journal