Friday, January 15, 2010

What is Tony Williams reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Tony Williams, an academic and poet. His first full collection of poems, The Corner of Arundel Lane and Charles Street, was published by Salt in 2009.

His entry begins:
More and more I appreciate clarity, or a kind of clarity, in what I read. For years I'd put off reading Kafka, because of his reputation for being 'difficult' and 'enigmatic' (it sounded like one of the the more boring strains of modernism). Then recently I picked up my battered copy of The Castle. It's so easy (and funny). Of course it's impossible to work out what's 'really' going on – because nothing is. It's all the clean, hard surface of events, all...[read on]
About The Corner of Arundel Lane and Charles Street, from the publisher:
Potter down to The Corner of Arundel Lane and Charles Street and find a strange landscape opening up before you: the city's dishevelled edge of huts and fallen fences slides towards a sullen and uncanny countryside.

Elegant, intelligent, charming and accessible, these poems reinvent the pastoral for dark times. They peddle dreams and nightmares, hollow laughter, elegy and joy, and use a spectrum of forms and tones from the prosaic to the metrical, from wry cynicism to high rhetoric.

Meet botanists, bastards, predators and prayers, the feckless and the dead, a lecherous Polish priest and Prospero as a game old bird, cigar in hand, mourning the proliferation of oiks like you. Pop in for a drink at the pub of the rural damned, dodge deranged farmers and deluded incomers, and make for the county town with its closed cinema and publicly-owned Scotch eggs. Find an eyeball in a wooden box. Discover the moral character of sand and gravel, play a quick hand of piquet and lie awake all night listening to the Dark shagging in the garden of a city terrace.

The poems in The Corner of Arundel Lane and Charles Street are original and allusive, serious and funny. Their wit and charm plot new routes through familiar landscapes.
Read poems from The Corner of Arundel Lane and Charles Street, and visit Tony Williams's website and poetry blog.

Writers Read: Tony Williams.

--Marshal Zeringue