Synopses & Reviews
Flesh and Blood, the fifth collection by C. K. Williams, was awarded the 1987 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Reviewing it in The New York Times Book Review, Edward Hirsch noted that the book's compression and exactitude gave it "the feeling of a contemporary sonnet sequence." Hirsch added: "Like Berryman's Dream Songs or Lowell's Notebooks, Mr. Williams's short poems are shapely yet open-minded and self-generative, loosely improvisational though with an underlying formal necesity."
"To put it simply, C. K. Williams is a wonderful poet, in the authentic American tradition of Walt Whitman and W. C. Williams, who tells us on every page what it means to be alive in our time. Among the treasures [in Flesh and Blood
] is his sequence of poems on the death of his friend, the poet Paul Zweig. It is unmistakably one of the truly great modern elegies."--Stanley Kunitz
"A refreshingly urban book. . . . There is a restless intelligence behind all of C. K. Williams's work. . . . The range of his concerns and the depth of his emotional insight give [this book] value. Williams's poems, whatever their shape, remind us how much other poets leave out."--Don Bogen, The Nation