Poetry. "Some writers approach the Nebraska plains as a big, empty other into which they may imagine. I understand the appeal of that mythology. But in Ruth Williams gorgeous new collection, FLATLANDS, the landscape is as alive as the plains truly are, and serves as both a generating place and quixotic companion to Williams's subtle, precise speaker. Throughout the poems, Williams images are beautifully wrought and full of surprises: a salmon being filleted opens like 'a girl's coral dress come undone,' and the 'night heat' of spent fireworks sleeps in the hands of children who are 'ready to knock.' I love this book—it's musical syncopation, the tight, clean transparency of the poems' lines. I think Willa Cather, the collection's genius loci, would admire Williams's work, recognizing its fundamental truthfulness. Which is about the highest compliment I have to give."—Erin Belieu
"Ruth Williams' FLATLANDS starts from the premise of emptiness and uncovers resources for what can be found and what's to be made. Landscape, identity, desire, the past and the moment—the distinct constellation of her concerns is thrown into focus by a taut, understated craft. These seemingly casual observations break out in bursts of insight flaring against the broad horizon."—Don Bogen
Ruth Williams is the author of Conveyance (Dancing Girl Press, 2012). Her poetry has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, jubilat, Pleiades and Third Coast among others. She has also published creative nonfiction in DIAGRAM and South Loop Review as well as scholarly work on women's writing and feminism in Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, The Journal of Popular Culture, and College Literature. Ruth holds a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Cincinnati; currently, she is an Assistant Professor of English at William Jewell College.
Author City: KANSAS, MO USA