DETROIT AS BARN by Crystal Williams

Detroit As Barn.jpg
Detroit As Barn.jpg

DETROIT AS BARN by Crystal Williams


76 Pages

Publisher: Lost Horse Press
Purchase includes: PDF

Read reviews on Amazon & Goodreads

Visionary, charged with tense grace, Crystal Williams’ new collection Detroit as Barn is an extraordinary act of redemption. Language becomes fact, agency, and what it makes is real as brick. More real: Williams’ desperate and ecstatic poetry takes us beyond Simulacrum Detroit, the stage-set of crisis capitalism, to the human landscape of absolute potential and contingency: “the hidden sack/in which we each stash/a God, the gods, tatters/of kindness, four halved plums.” Williams’ aim is to reclaim a world, knowing that the signposts have been deliberately mislabeled—“history is nothing more/than a chronic transfer of limitations,/a way of understanding/who we might have been & who we are/is bodies born of shackles.” Williams’ taut lines are wild to intervene, to create new forms. This book is a journey, from the stunted myths we inhabit towards a city still to be acknowledged, a city of living women and men.—D. Nurkse

Times may be tough, Detroit, but oh you are lucky in love. And lucky beyond all measure in your newest laureate, the marvelous Crystal Williams. If Detroit in decline is like one of those barns we see on a country road—unpainted, emptied-out, and leaning ever nearer to its Mother Earth—here are poems to praise the good hard wood that made it and the pitch of the roof once raised in praise. Here are songs of sorrow and fierceness that make us believe in joy again.—Linda Gregerson

In Detroit as Barn, Crystal Williams distills the breathing presences and absences in her native city, its industrial decay and human resilience, its shouts of despair and whispers birthing love. Her poetry teaches us the words to the beauty that the world passes over, discovers the soul in what has been lost or cast aside. This book gives me hope for America and for American poetry—and hope too for the spirit of Detroit that lives within us all.—David Mura

Crystal Williams is the author of  Troubled Tongues, winner of the 2009 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Prize, finalist for the 2009 Oregon Book Award, and shortlisted for the 2008 Idaho Prize;  Lunatic; and  Kin. She currently serves as associate vice president and chief diversity officer at Bates College, where she is also professor of English.

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