C.K. Williams (1936-2015) was the most challenging American poet of his generation, a poet of intense and searching originality who made lyric sense out of the often brutal realities of everyday life. His poems are startlingly intense anecdotes on love, death, secrets and wayward thought, examining the inner life in precise, daring language.
Pamela Robertson-Pearce filmed Williams reading a selection of his poems during a visit to London in October 2007. All six poems included here are from his COLLECTED POEMS, published in 2008 by Bloodaxe Books in the UK and by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in the US. The first poem is his much discussed poem ‘The Dog’ from TAR (1983), and he gives some background comment after the reading. This is followed by ‘Love: Beginnings’, ‘The Singing’, ‘The World’, ‘The Gaffe’ and ‘Cassandra: Iraq’. This film is from the DVD-anthology IN PERSON: 30 POETS, filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce & edited by Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books, 2008).