Poetry and Consciousness

C. K. Williams
Meditations from one of our most esteemed contemporary critics and poets


Poetry and Consciousness brings together C. K. Williams's meditations on psychology, an epistemology of poems, considerations of poetry and its relations to history and to the novel, exploring the causes and consequences of that fruitful breakdown of language the author calls "narrative dysfunction." A former Guggenheim fellow, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and noted critic, Williams reveals the influences that helped spur and shape the development of his art.

The essays explore the world of poetry and of poets, tracing the curious forces that generate the deeply rooted but richly unfamiliar languages of verse. Williams addresses a broad audience, justifying poetry as a form of embodied consciousness that helps us situate ourselves in history, a concrete form of opportunity and responsibility. The essays examine the very structure of consciousness and suggest tools for living that enable both writers and readers to approach their own situated selves as well as other selves and other poets.

C. K. Williams has authored ten books of poetry, including Flesh and Blood, A Dream of Mind, and The Vigil. He currently teaches in the Writing Program at Princeton University.

Praise / Awards

  • "The eleven essays of Poetry and Consciousness have a noble disposition, and one feels in the textures of Williams's writing a pure conviction and a commitment to seeing a higher dimension to poetry. When Williams writes of educating the soul and of the spiritually transforming power of beauty, he is convincing. His essays are deeply felt, energetic, intimate and playful--and, at the same time, they are marked by a deep and careful ethic, a venerable valuing of the good."
    --Poetry, August 2001

Product Details

  • 5-3/8 x 8.
  • 144pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1998
  • Out of Stock
  • 978-0-472-09672-5

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  • $65.00 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 1998
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06672-8

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  • $21.95 U.S.