a new collection exploring the fine line between abundance and apocalypse
‘For some reason, slightly unfathomable, I am reminded of a forest we visited on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido where the annual winter ice festival is held. The forest is sprayed for days by the local fire department, but not before flowers and colored lights have been hung within the branches, so when the whole forest turns to crystalline ice, the lights burn from within, the whole crystal forest glows, and when you walk there, flowers look out from the ice, arrested in full bloom. It is all so unexpected, and so extravagantly beautiful — something essential in such crystallization, and with fire in its core. Well, this vision returned to me reading your manuscript.’ Eleanor Wilner
‘The fifty-six poems of After Economy balance on a wavering tightrope between oblivion, void and humanity. An intriguing unpredictability fills Williams’ poems, as they unfold into sensitive, beautiful musings: “this poem may die some evening in a garden by the sea”. A hallucinatory-feel transcends the confines of familiarity as “I was close enough / to hear colour, to see sound”. Enigmatic and thought-provoking poems.’ Poetry Book Society Bulletin, Summer Selections 2017
‘After Economy is spellbinding and profound. The best yet, possibly. I love it!’ Jane McKie
‘This poetry is so physical, it feels like my spinal bones tremble as I read.’ Atzi
After Economy Book Launch at Talbot Rice Gallery, May 2017
Photos by Chris Scott.
Paradigm, from After Economy, in The Scotsman Magazine:
Listen to a few poems from After Economy:
On Locust and Marlin
‘It’s the real thing I like it a lot! Internal variety… So many different kinds of poems — “Learning to Love the Present” and “Blinding” and “Isn’t the Start” and the very last poem (such an emblem of poetry-in-general there) are by the same author! I liked reading your earlier work but this… Just this.’ Stephen Burt
‘This is a collection of grandiose, visionary poems about the nature of life and death.’ Greg Thomas
‘…the haunting, incantatory poetry of JL Williams.’ Chris Powici
JL Williams: expanding dialogues through poetry across languages, perspectives and cultures and in cross-form work, visual art, dance, opera and theatre.