Ian Williams recently discussed his latest book, Disorientation: Being Black in the World at the American Library in Paris. Listen to the conversation here.
In 2020, author and poet Ian Williams was living in Vancouver while working on his second novel. It was from this position that he lived through the beginning of the pandemic, the wildfires, and the Black Lives Matter protests. Witnessing a time of momentous change, Williams felt called to move beyond fiction. The result is Disorientation: Being Black in the World, a searching and startling new collection of essays.
Ian’s book Word Problems, a poetry collection that considers the ethical and political issues of our time as math and grammar problems. His novel, Reproduction, won of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize. It was published in Canada, the US, and the UK, and translated into Italian. His poetry collection, Personals, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award. His short story collection, Not Anyone’s Anything, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada. His first book, You Know Who You Are, was a finalist for the ReLit Poetry Prize. CBC named him as one of ten Canadian writers to watch. He is a trustee for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Williams holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Toronto and is currently a professor of poetry at the University of British Columbia. He was the 2014-2015 Canadian Writer-in-Residence for the University of Calgary’s Distinguished Writers Program.