Gazelle in the House
A Green Rose Book
Lisa Williams’s new collection, Gazelle in the House, is truly a book of stanzas: poetic rooms in which to dwell. Some of these dwellings have the uncanny familiarity of ordinary domestic space and others are as mysterious and disorienting as the depths of the sea. Painting with colors at times opaque, at times transparent, moving between shallows, tide-pools, and the abysses of dreams, Williams’s voice is solitary, meditative, intimate—and in the end a means of revelation.
Like the photographer who “wants that dialogue between a singer’s gesture and what slants it,” Lisa Williams elegantly slants the space between sight and sound in her striking third collection. She plumbs the worlds of eels and deep sea bells as deftly as she conjures unsparing snapshots of female adolescence.
—Rebecca Morgan Frank
“Go / become again a threshold,” commands one of the speakers in Lisa Williams’ newest collection, Gazelle in the House. Williams’ poems consistently compel the reader to become a door; to pass through the most difficult of emotional landscapes. This collection asks us to traverse a burning landscape and to come out on the other side singed brighter and better. Williams moves us through this landscape with an intellectual and aesthetic rigor.
Originally from Nashville, Lisa Williams teaches at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. She is the author of Woman Reading to the Sea (W.W. Norton 2008), which won the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and The Hammered Dulcimer (Utah State University Press, 1998), which won the May Swenson Poetry Award. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Blackbird,Poetry, The Oxford American, and other magazines, and have been featured on Poetry Daily andVerse Daily, as well as in anthologies including Best American Poetry 2009, Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds, and American Poetry: Next Generation. Her essays on contemporary women poets have appeared in The Hollins Critic, The Cincinnati Review, and on Poetry Daily. Williams is the recipient of a 2011 Brown Foundation Fellowship awarded by the Brown Foundation and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; a 2010 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council; and a 2004 Rome Prize in Literature, awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Spilled Milk on Banjo
Read by Lisa Williams
Video by Adriane Little
Publication of this book and production of this video were made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.