Poet and photographer Jonathan Williams founded the Jargon Society—publishing verse, experimental fiction, photography and visionary folk art—and has championed the underdog, maverick and outsider in the arts for fifty years. His poetry is no less distinctive.
Jubilant Thicket teems with the eccentric, strange and boundlessly authentic—neoclassical poems, social satire, musical suites, limericks and lyrics. There is spleen, salt, and delicious sarcasm, as Williams finds inspiration in Mahler and Mojo Nixon, William Blake and whimmy-diddles. Always in knowing command, he serves up an admixture of “found” and vernacular language, invented and archaic forms, jokes, shock, literary allusions, and political disgust. There is nobody quite like Jonathan Williams.
“By the end of the book, it becomes clear that Williams can make a verse out of whatever’s at hand.” —Publishers Weekly
“Jonathan Williams’s eye—and ear—for the poetry of our daily lives makes one truly grateful to be here.” —Home News Tribune
“This work is a necessary addition to any serious poetry collection.” —Library Journal
“The division between intellectuals and earthy folk, like many other divisions in our society, insults us. And so we have Jonathan Williams, whose latest unconventional book, Jubilant Thicket, is a testimony to ‘Who gives a fig?’ ” —Asheville Citizen-Times
“What a perfect name for this collection. It is a thicket of diverse poems culled from more than 1,450 works composed over a fifty-five year span… Jonathan Williams, now seventy-five, is a living link between the Black Mountain College artistic revival of decades past and contemporary Western North Carolina.” —Appalachian Heritage, Berea College
“[A] tightly woven joyous public thatch… Williams is in a class where it doesn’t take long to call the roll.” —Neon