A Visit with Ian Williams

Our March/April program opened with a very stimulating presentation by Ian Williams, currently Canadian writer-in-residence in the Distinguished Writers Program at the University of Calgary. A gifted student, an accomplished author and an inspirational speaker, he fully captured our attention.

In keeping with our theme, “Nobel literary recipients”, Williams selected six laureates whom he lists as his favorites, They are:

Alice Munro, Toni Morrison, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliott and William Butler Yeates

Williams’ choice of favorites stems from his analysis of what makes the Nobel Prize winner’s work deserving of honor. He stated that he wants the writer to sound like no other writer; they are not apologetic about sounding like themselves. Writing that strikes a vision appeals to him. He appreciates the tenderness explored and evidenced in the works of laureates placed on his register of favorites.

To illustrate his rationale for including the above listed authors on his preferred list, Williams read excerpts from selected works of each writer. We were impressed with his sensitive , enthusiastic rendering of each extract. His brief comments on each writer’s unique style and/or intent, often humorously expressed, added to the overall experience. . Williams, quite obviously, merits our attention. The CBC named him as “one of ten Canadian writers to watch”. And watch him we will, through his writing:

Personals (poetry)

Not Anyone’s Anything (fiction)

You Know Who You Are (poetry)

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