Phillip B WilliamsWebsite
Years: 2008, 2009, 2011
Phillip B. Williams is a Chicago, Illinois native. He is the author of the chapbooks Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom Inc. 2011) and Burn (YesYes Books, 2012). He is a Cave Canem graduate and received a Bread Loaf work-study scholarship in 2011 and Social staff scholarship in 2012. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, The Southern Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Sou’wester, West Branch, Blackbird and others. Phillip is currently a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow at the Washington University in St. Louis and is working on his MFA in Creative Writing. He is the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry.
Excerpt from "In the Nothing that is Kept" from Chapbook BRUISED GOSPELS
The cross, attached to a silver chain, lies
across the nightstand like a man waiting
all night for his sentence: torture, but not
before acknowledging his restraints, looped
in a self-feeding clutch through his neck’s flesh.
That the chain glistens, appears to writhe, means
there is, somewhere, a source of light and men
watching the prostrate prisoner—naked
as he requested—open his thin arms
to let light touch, to further fasten him.
Say you dust bare his skin. Say there’s a song
to sing, that he sings it. Your lips to him
lift like a storm from land. Now he appears
more like faith, its absence risen, made clear.