COMMENTARIES ON LORI WILLIAMS
If you want to read a storytelling poet, a truth-telling poet, a true grit poet with the biggest heart ever, whose creative voice resonates nary a false note, just read Lori Williams. She's the dame who gives you what-for if you turn your back on her at the bar after telling her you think she is pretty special; the trusting child who looks for guidance to grown-ups whose understanding of the way she sees the world doesn't quite make sense to her. She is the supremely vulnerable woman on her own who writes her heart out in powerful poetry and prose poems about loneliness, fear of failure, the urge to end it all, and the rush of joy at finding the kind of new love that only a poem can uniquely celebrate. And, oh, by the way, she is funny as hell, in that dark way that tells you she has been to those places she writes about. In The Reason for Hospital Visiting Hours, when she writes about “that world of opaque-eyed turnips dozing between drips of earth and sky" she tells you all you need to know about how she leavens the awfulness with her brilliant, morbid wit. Some people do not know where to turn for their sanity and salvation, but this poet knows exactly where hers lies. In her unsettling Contemplating a Diagnosis, she writes "...Waiting, waiting/as she scarfs down pepperoni and swishes/a feather in the air, pondering how/so many lessons have gone unlearned,/and the important poems she will write/if she knows the time is short..." we see and believe that she taps into an extraordinary self-knowing when all else is swirling chaos. Williams has the storyteller's knack – she transforms daily events as well as solemn passages – desperate, cruel passages – into deeply personal poems merging wit and pathos into memorable tales. Authentic and genuine, her life force drives a creative, vivid voice. You don't want to miss the gifted energies of Lori Williams.
- WREXIE BARDAGLIO 63