Traveling from the rural Midwest and Chicago, his mythic childhood city, to the outposts of Cornwall and far-off Guangzhou, William Olsen searches for the miracle of wholeness in the small details. An urgency inhabits his poems as they lament and protest a pandemic disrespect for all things natural and the replacement of such with material progress. Olsen seeks to make a truly substantial inquiry into human existence, which leads him to test the adequacy of language. Filling his verses with a dazzling language that challenges, transports, questions, and intoxicates, he thus creates a genuine surrealism. His meditations on contemporary life are bleak but fiercely truthful - providing that paradox of literature, the exhilaration of feeling even when reading of the tragic. It is Olsen's distinct awe for our universe that offers hope for retrieving all that is being lost.
Northwestern University Press
Citation for published book
Olsen, William, and NetLibrary, Inc. Trouble Lights / William Olsen. Evanston, Ill.: Triquarterly /Northwestern UP, 2002. Web.
Olsen, William, "Trouble Lights" (2002). All Books and Monographs by WMU Authors. 472.