Phillip B. Williams | Ours: A Novel

Recorded Feb 20, 2024
Direct Download: 20240220-phillip.mp3

In conversation with Airea D. Matthews

Phillip B. Williams is the author of two acclaimed poetry collections, Thief in the Interior, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a Lambda Literary Award; and Mutiny, which was a finalist for the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry Collection and the winner of a 2022 American Book Award. A creative writing professor in New York University’s MFA creative writing program, he is the recipient of a Whiting Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. A surrealistic epic about the complexities of freedom and the boundaries of love, Ours tells the story of an 1830s-era conjuror who destroys plantations and spirits enslaved people away to a magically concealed community.

Airea D. Matthews is the 2022–23 Philadelphia Poet Laureate and directs the poetry program at Bryn Mawr College. Her collection Simulacra won the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize and her work has appeared in The New York Times, Best American Poets, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review, and VQR, among other journals. Matthews’ other honors include a 2022 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship, a 2020 Pew Fellowship, and the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Addressing themes of income inequality, commodification, and conventional economic theories, her most recent book Bread and Circus combines poetry, prose, and imagery to tell an intimate story about the author and her family.

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