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Joe Milford Hosts Jerry Williams

  • Broadcast in Poetry
Joe Milford Show

Joe Milford Show


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Jerry Williams's entire family, on both sides, originated from Harlan, Kentucky, a coal town in the southeastern part of the "Bluegrass State," a place of great importance to labor historians and country singers. His ancestry consists mostly of alcoholics and pill addicts, xenophobes, agoraphobes, preachers, toothless Felliniesque pinheads, veterans of foreign wars with unidentifiable diseases, attempted murderers, moonshiners and bootleggers, racists, golfers, magicians, disability royalty, suicides, freemasons, and a legion of mourners. Before he arrived on the scene, his mother and father and his two sisters moved north to Dayton, Ohio, birthplace of African-American poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar, actor Rob Lowe, and sibling aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright. Over the years, he has been an infant; a child; an adolescent; an adult; a gym rat; an undergraduate at Vermont College, where he received a B.A. in English; singer in a band named after a Sam Shepard play; landscaper; typist; bartender; delivery driver (auto parts); cashier; telephone solicitor; dishwasher; librarian's assistant; Los Angeleno; San Franciscan; Princetonian; Tucsonan (he did an M.F.A. in Poetry at the University of Arizona); as well as a reluctant Stillwaterian, where he earned a Ph.D. in English with a creative dissertation at Oklahoma State University. After spending two years in Bristol, Rhode Island, as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Roger Williams University, he settled in New York City. Currently, he lives in the Bronx and works as an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Marymount Manhattan College. His poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in American Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, Witness, Pleiades, Hayden's Ferry Review, Barrow Street, Tin House, the new web version of Barney Rosset's Evergreen Review, and many others. His first collection of poems, Casino of the Sun, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in February of 2003, was a finalist for the Kate Tufts