Library Item: 146476300
Jonathan Williams: lord of orchards
Williams’ refined decorum and speech, and his sartorial style, contrasted sharply, yet pleasingly, with his delight in the bawdy, with his incisive humor and social criticism, and his confidently experimental, masterful poems and prose.
His interests raised “the common to grace,” while paying “close attention to the earthy.” At the forefront of the Modernist avant-garde—yet possessing a deep appreciation of the traditional—Williams celebrated, rescued, and preserved those things he described as, “more and more away from the High Art of the city,” settling “for what I could unearth and respect in the tall grass.” Subject to much indifference—despite being celebrated as publisher and poet—he nurtured the nascent careers of hundreds of emerging or neglected poets, writers, artists, and photographers. --Publisher
Recognizing this, Buckminster Fuller once called him “our Johnny Appleseed”, Guy Davenport described him as a “kind of polytechnic institute,” while Hugh Kenner hailed Jargon as “the Custodian of Snowflakes” and Williams as “the truffle-hound of American poetry.” Lesser known for his extraordinary letters and essays, and his photography and art collecting, he is never only a poet or photographer, an essayist or publisher
This book of essays, images, and shouts aims to bring new eyes and contexts to his influence and talent as poet and publisher, but also heighten appreciation for the other facets of his life and art. One might call Williams’ life a poetics of gathering, and this book a first harvest.