Crystal Williams reads for first Ars Poetica of spring term

Contact: David Axelrod | Ars Poetica Lecture Series at EOU
541-962-3633 | daxelrod@eou.edu

Photo by Owen Carey / Crystal Williams

April 12, 2012
La Grande, Ore. (EOU)
- The Ars Poetica Lecture Series at EOU will host writer Crystal Williams, of Portland, for the first reading of spring term.

Williams will share selections from her latest book, “Troubled Tongues,” at 7:30 p.m. on April 19 in Huber Auditorium in Badgley Hall. Copies of the book will be available to purchase and a signing will follow the reading, which is free and open to the public.

“Troubled Tounges” won the 2009 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Prize, was a finalist for the 2009 Oregon Book Award and shortlisted for the Idaho Prize. Her new collection, “Walking the Cemetery: Detroit Poems,” is expected to be out soon. Other other works include “Lunatic” (2002), and “Kin” (2000).

“A breaking down of language, a kind of jazz, a dance with the ordinary moments and political discourse, Crystal Williams is both a poet’s poet and a people’s poet,” author Teresa Petro writes.

Williams will read at 7: 30 p.m. April 19 in Huber Auditorium, Badgley Hall.

Williams was raised in Detroit, Mich., and spent her summers in Madrid and Mexico. She credits her father’s music and uncle’s poetry for leading her to the craft of writing. She completed a bachelor of arts degree from New York University and also holds a master of fine arts from Cornell University.

“She limns the heart of what moves her speakers and subjects to signify and sass as they are prone to do and immerses readers in moments that words rarely fully render,” poet L. Lamar Wilson writes. “Williams not only makes these spaces real but also leaves her readers pondering what can be mined from their own past and present lives, homes, loves and losses.”

Williams is the recipient of fellowship grants from The MacDowell Arts Colony, Literary Arts, the Oregon Arts Commission and Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.

Her work is also widely anthologized, appearing in journals and publications such as “The American Poetry Review,” “The Sun” and “The Indian Review,” among others.

Williams is the dean for Institutional Diversity and an associate professor of creative writing at Reed College in Portland.