The Hammered Dulcimer

by Lisa Williams

foreword by John Hollander

Volume 2 of the Swenson Poetry Award, 1998

"Lisa Williams isn't easy on the reader or herself. But what a dark, steady, lyric voice she has. What poetry!"

—Poetry Annual


Lisa William's poems are infused with what John Hollander calls "a guarded wonder." A poet of unique vision, she seems always to be "looking at," with special attention to the experience of the senses. Moreover, Williams is equally concerned with epistemology—the how of seeing. And it is perhaps this quality of attention that informs her interest in the formulations of poetry itself, in its constructed dimension. Her control of the line, of rhythmic possibilities, of structures both formal and free, is evident in every poem. Together, William's original voice and her poetic finesse allow her to create those harmonies of wonder evoked by the very instrument, the hammered dulcimer, that gives her collection its name.

Judge for the 1998 May Swenson Poetry Award was John Hollander, poet, critic, professor. Long a major figure in American letters, Hollander was a personal friend to May Swenson, and has influenced the work of many of our best emerging poetic voices.


Lisa Williams's poems have appeared in publications such as the Chattahoochee Review, Louisiana Literature, Raritan, and Quarterly Virginia Review. Awards for her work include an American Academy of Poets Prize, the Henry Hoyns Fellowship at the University of Virginia, and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship.

Imprint: Utah State University Press

Book Details

  • Paperback Price: $14.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-87421-248-8
  • Ebook Price: $11.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $5.99
  • EISBN: 978-0-87421-319-5
  • Publication Year: 2000
  • Pages: 75
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: by Lisa Williams
  • ECommerce Code: 978-0-87421-248-8