Paperback Price: 15.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-938584-17-6

Selected Poem

God As A Failed Figuration

A reflection, a figment of a figment
of the imagination. The male figure stands
by himself, obscured. When he lifts his hands
lightning scythes below. From his weary blues
blues spill out but nothing around can
define how. Emptily the blues signify.

Thief in the Interior

Recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award for Poetry

2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award Winner

Nominated for the 2017 NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry

2016 INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist

2017 Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award Finalist

2017 Lambda Literary Awards Winner

2017 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist

2017 Nominee for 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry

Shortlisted for Chicago Review of Books Award in Poetry

One of BET’s “12 Must-Read Books for 2016”


“To experience [Phillip B. William’s] poetry is to encounter a lucid, unmitigated humanity, a voice for whom language is inadequate, yet necessarily grasped, shaped, and consumed. His devout and excruciating attention to the line and its indispensable music fuses his implacable understanding of words with their own shadows.”
—Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Boston Review

“This gorgeous debut is a ‘debut’ in chronology only, a rare poetic event that transcends our expectations. Williams’s poems embody balance: uncompromising and magnetic, surprising and intuitive. Need is everywhere—in the unforgiving images, in lines so delicate they seem to break apart in the hands, and in the reader who will enter these poems and never want to leave.”
—Adrian Matejka, author of The Big Smoke

“Not just more of the artfully skill-less, conceptual talk of a poem, this is what you’ve been waiting for: some poetry. Not just skill as possession, as a commodity, but skill to accomplish the expressive event, a deeply felt poetic argument. For example Williams’ line is no arbitrary unit of type, but an effective musically syntactic accomplishment of line. Poetry!”
—Ed Roberson

“The seasoned reader of poetry will be impressed that Thief in the Interior is Phillip B. Williams’s first collection. His control of the line is masterful, and his syntax eschews, for the most part, direct or simple delivery of language, creating a formal and solemn tone that scores the emotional pitches of the book.”
Los Angeles Book Review

“Williams demonstrates an astounding technical mastery of poetic forms that goes far beyond form for form’s sake, as he repeats, reconfigures, and recontextualizes words and phrases in order to create continuity and multifaceted meanings.”
Muzzle Magazine

“Williams’ poems never cease to give you that “Aha!” moment as you read through the poem again and again to discover yet another layer of meaning. His calls for justice, for things in the dark to be brought out to the light, do not go unheard.”
San Diego Review

“[Williams’] lyricism is full of interruptions—into and out of history, in and out of metaphor, in and out of the violence of being a body.”
“30 Poets You Should Be Reading”

“. . .Thief in the Interior is a remarkable collection that balances engagement with both the horrific and the beautiful.
Southern Humanities Review

Thief in the Interior does what a collection of poems should do. It draws its reader in and forces its reader to think, to admire, to observe, to question and to whip out the notebook and go nuts on the adjectives—dynamic, robust, dominant, vigorous, inventive, vigorous, original, musical, original, and adroit.”
The Adroit Journal

Thief in the Interior damns and redeems, and represents a truly worthwhile literary experience.”

“[Williams] sings for the vanished, for the haunted, for the tortured, for the lost, for the place on the horizon where the little boat of the human body disappears in a wingdom of unending grace.”
—The Best American Poetry