Book Spotlight: Disinheritance by John Sibley Williams

Author: John Sibley Williams
Publisher: Apprentice House Press
Pages: 98
Genre: Poetry
A lyrical, philosophical, and tender exploration of the various voices of grief, including those of the broken, the healing, the son-become-father, and the dead, Disinheritance acknowledges loss while celebrating the uncertainty of a world in constant revision. From the concrete consequences of each human gesture to soulful interrogations into “this amalgam of real / and fabled light,” these poems inhabit an unsteady betweenness, where ghosts can be more real than the flesh and blood of one’s own hands.

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Disinheritance may be purchased at Amazon.  

Praise for Disinheritance:

“In John Sibley Williams’ moving, somber collection, the power of elegy, reverie, and threnody transcends the disinheritance caused by separation. These compellingly atemporal poems form the locus wherein generations of a family can gather. Here, Williams’ lyric proto-language—elemental, archetypal, primordial—subsumes barriers of time and space. His poems create their own inheritance.”
—Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita
“There is eternal longing in these poems of John Sibley Williams. A yearning for what cannot be understood. A song for what simply is. A distance beyond human measurement. The dead and alive dancing, hurting, and praying at the mouth of what must be the beginning of time. A series of profound losses giving birth to words no different from medicine.”
—Zubair Ahmed
Book Excerpt:
A panic of finches rises and tonight
the late salmon moon is filled
with rivers and old shadows. Reflected,
iridescing, an amalgam of real
and fabled light. I rub grains of wood and cloud
between my hands and stretch from the grass
into a grandmotherly story of angels,
their necessary demons, and how little
it takes for the one to climb or descend into
the other. This is what she told me before
she climbed or descended. The distance from us was
the same. This is how she explained where I’d gone
and am going.
My hands don’t remember much anymore
of where the birds have flown. There are felled trees
in the sky. The moon’s face drifts across the river.
And I miss the hard geometries of coffins.


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