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Adonis Garage by Rynn Williams
Adonis Garage
Rynn Williams
Winner of the 2004 Book Prize in Poetry

About The Book

Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Adonis Garage introduces a talent exquisitely keyed to the register of New York City’s pulse and to the heartbeat of the day. Raw and graphic, with a brash and beautiful voice, Rynn Williams’s poetry immerses us in disillusionment and desire and bears witness to the meaning of survival.Judith Ortiz Cofer called Adonis Garage “a book of life written by someone who has lived honestly and passionately, and whose art has been mastered in order to bear witness and find meaning in each day.” Rynn Williams's poems are “brutally frank, brutally beautiful, and sexy,” said writer and critic Jonathan Holden.

Rynn Williams

About The Author

Rynn Williams took a Master's Degree in English at NYU in 1990. In 2001, after the birth of Beckett, her third child, Williams went back to school -- this time to Warren Wilson's low residency MFA Program for Writers in Asheville, North Carolina. She continued to publish. Williams's work has been featured in The Nation, Massachusetts Review, Field, Agni Online, New York Quarterly, and North American Review, among other journals. In 2001 she received a New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. She is a tutor at the Center for Immigrant Education and Training at Laguardia Community College in New York. She lives in Brooklyn.


You can read an excerpt from Adonis Garage on the University of Nebraska Press website here.

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"This collection is Saucy and raw. Williams lays it all down on the page with graphic images and their real consequences. Her passion and brutal honesty give this collection a pulse."—Lincoln Journal Star

“Rynn Williams's poems are like x-rays that scrutinize each moment until we can see through to its emotional core—for instance, a nineteeth-century map of Amsterdam showing ‘the path of the parson to his parish, / the daily route of merchants dissolves into an image of the speaker's father, ‘how quietly he walked away from us.’ Williams is constantly dismantling the barricades between the self and the other (not only lovers but doves, drag queens and rollercoasters constitute the others in these poems) and the mundane and the monumental (‘an asterisk of duct tape over the window’ becomes ‘a galaxy burst into being.’) These poems are dangerous and ambitious. They aim to make us porous too.”—Matthea Harvey, author of Sad Little Breathing Machine

"These poems sing you back to life as if you never knew how much a song could thrill, or hurt, or heal. Rynn Williams somehow soaked up New York City, top to bottom, and now, suddenly, she writes, and everything pours out with so much tenderness and awe, you can’t believe how much you let get past you. If Walt Whitman had been born a woman, and had been around the block, and noticed things, and wrote with all her courage, skill, and love, what we’d get, if we were lucky, is this book."—Brooks Haxton, author of Uproar: Antiphonies to Psalms

"Rynn Williams watches a city girl's jumprope, a ‘metronome . . . weaving all the disparate energies of girl— / elation, fury, eagerness, song— / into one singular strand.’ You couldn't ask for a more articulate ars poetica. Williams beats out of difficulty and gorgeousness her own lyrics of pleasure and fury, in poems that sing and lament a fierce urban matrix, where there's ‘Mary-rage in the off-duty taxicabs, but God bless/ the satin of born-again swagger.’ Assured and vulnerable, passionate and undeceived, Adonis Garage is a thrilling debut."—Mark Doty, author of School of the Arts