Crystal Williams’ new collection, Lunatic, courageously roots out the underbelly of the human condition with humor, irony, and unflinching directness. Williams confronts large-scale social and cultural events such as September 11, the death of Amadou Diallo, and the Chicago Race Riots in addition to exploring the often paralyzing terrain of loss, desire, and displacement. Among its most common themes is personal responsibility. The interpretation of personal narratives affects not only the self, Williams insists, but reverberates with epic consequences in the wider world. Pointing to James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, Williams questions the dark side of human experience with clarity, compassion, and even laughter. Ultimately, Lunatic explores how the public and private converge and how we can each reach, boldly, for reconciliation.
Publication Date: November 30th, 2002
69 pages| 6 in x 9 in
Crystal Williams is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. She is a native of Detroit, Michigan, and author of Kin and Lunatic. Her poetry appears in magazines such as Luna, Fourth River, Callaloo, The Indiana Review, and in the anthologies: American Poetry: The Next Generation, Poetry Nation, Sweet Jesus, and Beyond the Frontier, among others. Her essays can be found in publications including Ms. Magazine. She has been a featured reader at venues across the country including: The National Arts Club, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Sarah Lawrence College.