October 12, 2021
Lamar University Literary Press recently announced the publication of Dan Williams’ newest book of poetry:
Dan Williams is a teller of lost tales that surprise, entertain, shock, and invite us to ponder meaning.
Meet Oviedo author of Historia, one of the earliest literary works from the Americas. Then meet Las Casas, who denounced Oviedo as a dangerous liar and a destroyer of the West Indies. Williams explores the nature and effects of some of Oviedo’s lies. “He was one of the earliest to describe tobacco,” Williams says, a substance that was thought to cure headaches, kidney stones, blisters, toothaches, and bad breath.
It became so fashionable that soon English schoolboys at Eton were instructed how to properly smoke their pipes, were required to carry pipe and tobacco in their school bags and whipped if they did not habitually smoke their pipes.
This book tells much about little-known historical figures as well as about famous personages. It is information that startles with irony and relevance. It is as much the way Williams tells his tales as the stories and information that keeps us reading.
These narratives are well-crafted poems that are easy to read and difficult to set aside.
Dan Williams’ previous collection of poetry, Past Purgatory, a Distant Paradise, was named the 2017 Best Book of Poetry by the Philosophical Society of Texas. Williams has published eight other books, including novels, literary history, edited collections, and poetry. He is Honors Professor of Humanities in the John V. Roach Honors College at TCU and serves as Director of the TCU Press.