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Lisa Williams

Lisa Williams is the author of Woman Reading to the Sea, which won the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Her poems are forthcoming in Orion, the Missouri Review, Measure, and the Best American Poetry 2009. She teaches at Centre College in Kentucky.


Bees in a Time of War

It’s not the bees but the shadows of the bees arcing over the surface of a field. Down, then over. Up, and then across. Their bodies skimming along the weedy surface like thoughts. Or like a mass of thoughtless shapes moving, only moving, [...]

Woman Reading to the Sea

Spring 2006 | Poetry

  After a painting by Franco Mondini-Ruiz There’s a certain freedom in the long blue slant of its uncaring, in the wind that knocks the surface onto rocks, and there’s a dent made in that wind by the woman who recites straight into it, pr [...]

On Not Using the Word “Cunt” in a Poem

Winter 2006 | Poetry

Certainly there’s pressure to perform in such a way what doesn’t sound so stately and isn’t safe: Let it be shorn, the poem’s lush holiness. Let locks be trimmed. Cut to the chase. How unchaste can you be? Can I proffer a different kind of t [...]

The Growth

I heard a weed cry in a dream let me in, let me in. It grew on a hill outside my window, was gnawed by cicadas, taunted by crows but still had five leaves large as tortoises, and near the earth a stem rotted brown. How the roots thrived I couldn't g [...]