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.
- Ian Williams explores race, class and identity in his debut novel, Reproduction
- Why poetry matters to Ian Williams
- Why Ian Williams believes that great writers can embrace juicers and Marilyn Denis
- 37 Canadian poetry collections to watch for in fall 2020
- The CBC Books fall 2020 reading list
- The best Canadian poetry of 2020
- 25 books by Black Canadian authors to read in 2021