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The Road to Happiness
     

The Road to Happiness

by Johnathon Williams
 

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"From Huck and Jim's raft ride down the Mississippi, to the Joad family's drive from Oklahoma to California after their crops are destroyed in the Dust Bowl, to fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross's ride from Fort Smith, Arkansas, into the wilderness to avenge her father's death—to go on the road means freedom, adventure, the shucking of responsibilities, and the

Overview

"From Huck and Jim's raft ride down the Mississippi, to the Joad family's drive from Oklahoma to California after their crops are destroyed in the Dust Bowl, to fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross's ride from Fort Smith, Arkansas, into the wilderness to avenge her father's death—to go on the road means freedom, adventure, the shucking of responsibilities, and the promise of a better future, especially if that road heads west.... The road in Johnathon Williams's thoughtful first collection, "The Road to Happiness," however, is a road that runs through rural western Arkansas, and the speaker is not on it. These poems are to Arkansas what Robert Frost's poems are to New England: they are poems deeply rooted in a physical place, with copperheads, locust shells, and blackberries; kilns, pork rinds, and Walmart, too; and they are spoken by a colloquial voice that calls mud wasps 'dirt daubers,' refers to the mentally challenged as 'retards,' and commands dogs to 'turn loose' when their jaws lock on something they shouldn't. Like Frost, Williams explores a primal darkness and isolation, using the constraints of blank verse and the sonnet to order the chaos of a difficult life and quiet what would otherwise be unmanageable feelings. Ultimately, he shows us the frustration and clarity of vision that come when one physically and emotionally stays put." —From the foreword by Katrina Vandenberg

Product Details

BN ID:
2940015610529
Publisher:
Antilever Press
Publication date:
09/27/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
80
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Johnathon Williams is a writer and web developer living in Fayetteville, AR. His poems and essays have appeared in Best New Poets 2009, Crab Orchard Review, and The Morning News, among other publications. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arkansas. The Road to Happiness is his first book.

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