The poems in Ian Williams's Personals are jittery, plaintive, and decidedly fresh. They are almost-love poems, voiced through a startling variety of speakers who continually rev themselves up to the challenge of connecting with others, often to no avail. Williams pays beautiful homage to traditional poetic forms: ghazals, a pantoum, blank sonnets, mock-heroic couplets, while simultaneously showcasing his own inventiveness and linguistic dexterity through the creation of brand new forms: poems that spin into indeterminacy, poems that don't end. With a deft hand and playful ear, Williams entices the reader to stumble alongside his characters as they search, again and again, for intimacy, for touch, for each other.
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