Books·Canadian

Word Problems

Word Problems is a book by Ian Williams.

Ian Williams

Frustrated by how tough the issues of our time are to solve – racial inequality, our pernicious depression, the troubled relationships we have with other people – Ian Williams revisits the seemingly simple questions of grade school for inspiration: if Billy has five nickels and Jane has three dimes, how many Black men will be murdered by police? He finds no satisfaction, realizing that maybe there are no easy answers to ineffable questions.

Williams uses his characteristic inventiveness to find not just new answers but new questions, reconsidering what poetry can be, using math and grammar lessons to shape poems that invite us to participate. Two long poems cut through the text like vibrating basenotes, curiosities circle endlessly, and microaggressions spin into lyric. And all done with a light touch and a joyful sense of humour. (From Coach House Books)

Ian Williams is a poet, novelist and professor from Brampton, Ont., who is currently teaching at the University of British Columbia. His debut novel  Reproduction won the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize. He is also the author of the poetry collection Personals, which was a finalist for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Interviews with Ian Williams

Ian Williams talks to Shelagh Rogers about his Giller nominated novel, Reproduction. 15:27
Last night in Toronto, Ian Williams won the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his debut novel Reproduction. He joined Tom Power the morning after the awards ceremony to talk about his big win. 13:36

Ian Williams shocked, delighted by Giller win

CBC News

2 years ago
0:56
Scotiabank Giller prizewinner Ian Williams says the subject of his debut novel is one all of us can relate to. 0:56

Other books by Ian Williams

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