NC Literary Hall of Fame



The Narrative Possibilities of Coral by Priscilla Webster-Williams

Main Street Rag Publishing Company
$11.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-59948-628-4
May, 2017
Available from the publisher

"A story in poems as sturdy and intriguing as a novel, full of mystery and sorrow that yet wears the colors of celebration. The gone father who disappeared behind his gold trombone, forgiven perhaps, who may have lived in a salt regret. The mother, strong but caught in the plague of the middle twentieth century and disappearing for years into a sanitarium for tuberculosis patients, the child who speaks of life with a moving string of relatives. It is difficult for poetry to tell such a story with clarity and keep it poetry. Webster-Williams has done that, turning and turning a life into words, darkness into color, loss into lantern, into dance, into joy."
—Betty Adcock, poet and professor

"The Narratives Possibilities of Coral by Priscilla Webster-Williams is a wonderful meditation on the past informed by the present, the kind of retrospective epiphany a poetry refracted through memory affords. These poems, as we turn them over and over, are prismatic, faceted. By their glow, we are led inevitably back through the labyrinth of time to moments resurrected and reimagined through a language at once arresting and plaintive. 'Will this scene ever strike me as ordinary,' the poet asks. The answer—for a poet like Webster-Williams, for all of us—is, of course, No. Read this book. There's nothing at all ordinary about it."
—Joseph Bathanti, Poet Laureate of North Carolina, 2012-2014

"The Narrative Possibilities of Coral invites the reader to explore this imagistic narrative of the senses, beginning with the mythic birth of coral and all the hues of red it seems to have begotten, while salt lingers through these poems from the ocean, to the table, an 'antique Iowa salt cellar' and a metaphorical pillar. Webster-Williams' well-crafted work is filled with music. Yet, there are quiet poems as well that touch on loss, fear, hope and joy. She writes with insight, empathy and clarity, making this a collection of beautiful poetry."
— Jonathan K. Rice, editor of Iodine Poetry Journal

Chapbook, of poems, 43 pages.

Priscilla Webster-Williams’ poems have appeared in journals, anthologies, in a textbook, and at art exhibits and festivals for cancer survivors. Publications include: The Broad River Review, Kakalak, Soundings East (Salem State University), The Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World, and other publications. Her poetry has garnered awards including The Rash Award in Poetry sponsored by Gardner-Webb University and North Carolina's Poet Laureate Award. Deaf in one ear since childhood, she writes poems full of visual imagery and sounds. She grew up in Iowa and Chicago, lived in New England, and now resides in Durham.

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