I heard Mr. Williams read some of these poems at the River City Writers Series here in Memphis last fall, sponsored by the University of Memphis's MFA Program. I purchased a copy of his Pulitzer Prize-winning book of poems, Repair. But it was his memoir, Misgivings, that gripped me most. I had just begun my own memoir, which is still in progress, and which also includes tough truths about family members. Williams has a gift, but also crosses some lines that are questionable, for me, like in his poem, "Last Things," about his friend's hidden photograph of his dead child. Was the "small truth his story might embody" REALLY "worth the anguish of remembering that reflexive moment"? These are the types of questions I'm asking myself as I wade through the pages of truth in my memoir-in-progress. He did ask his friend before publishing the poem. And he did win the Pulitzer. I'm taking notes.
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