Thursday, June 4, 2009


Ian Williams for DESK SPACE


Ian Williams is a poet, fiction writer, and professor (the sequence rotates depending on the audience).

DS When did you start writing or publish your first book?

IW Can’t remember a time when I was illiterate, but in terms of writing writing, or what the big dogs call [finger quotes] creative writing [end finger quotes], that started in grade 6, then I turned pro [cough] years later with the scheduled publications of You Know Who You Are (poems, Wolsak and Wynn, 2010) and Not Anyone’s Anything (fiction, Freehand, 2011).

DS Where do you write?

IW I write on my hand; meta that, in my pocket on a tiny steno; meta that, on a laptop that has the battery lifespan of a goldfish and overheats; meta that, in morning sun and silence; meta that, between Ontario and Massachusetts.

DS Why do you work where you do?

I think most writers have a touch of the Emily Dickinson anxiety that revs up in public, the self-consciousness that is the flip side of sensitivity. For that reason I prefer to write at home, and I do go whole days holed up at home. I also prefer to write in the morning before the contamination of other voices set in. These are ideal weather conditions, but umbrellas and toques come out when life gets busy.

DS What are you working on now?

IW As usual, I’m swinging between poetry and fiction, editing-wise and writing-wise. These days I’m editing You Know Who You Are and Not Anyone’s Anything. Once those’re done I’ll turn to working on the macdaddy project, a novel. To say more than that now would jinx it.

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