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Stilettos in a Rifle Range

Tyrone Williams

Poetry, African American Studies

Made in Michigan Writers Series

Published: December 2022
ISBN: 9780814350188
Pages: 80 Size: 6 x 9
Published: December 2022
ISBN: 9780814350195
Pages: 80 Size: EPUB

Written against a backdrop of heartbreak and loneliness and spanning the geography of Cincinnati, Detroit, and New York, this is a complex, intriguing book of poetry that plays dynamically with language as each new reading brings forth something unseen from the previous reading. Highlighting the varied modes of writing that Tyrone Williams has mastered—the fractal lyric, the metahistorical fable, the atomic lexical—stilettos in a rifle range reveals in high resolution the power of representational strategies within American English. Williams’s language in particular is an intralingual love affair that all will enjoy.

Tyrone Williams is the David Gray Chair of Poetry and Letters at SUNY Buffalo. He is the author of several chapbooks and seven books of poetry.

Amore, immutable fatale, thickens the Cincinnati air, steps over lawns swaying its limbs to and fro in warning to loiterers who’d believe that Williams’s verse rests on the ballot of human expectation. Lines billow, curl, and swirl. ‘We’ll break your lousy heads. D’ye think you own this world, or what!'

– Andrew Levy, author of Artifice in the Calm Damages

A seasoned author looks back to his uncomfortable days as a newly credentialed academic relocating from Detroit to Cincinnati. His girlfriend has recently dumped him and he feels unwelcome anywhere outside his university. Encounters in restaurants, discos, dives, and bus stations intensify disappointment and alienation. The poet’s voice echoes love poetry of Ovid and the old, stand-up routines of Williams’s favorite comedian, Richard Pryor. With caustic charm, Tyrone Williams explores a host of attitudes, vocabularies, and emotions, fulfilling his promise ‘to honor the Black vernacular in all its troubled poignancy.’

– Edward Morin, author of The Bold News of Birdcalls and editor and co-translator of The Red Azalea: Chinese Poetry since the Cultural Revolution