The poems that make up Lost in the Telling present a scene change from the southern gothic narratives of Williams’ previous collections. These surreal little poems, most of them looser in form, explore dreams (both the day and night variety) and those worlds in which they are set. The would-be rock and roller longing for his suburban home, for peace and quiet in the day-to-day. Or the middle-aged office worker reminiscing over his past life—its smoky, blurry late nights on the road, its backstages and broken-down vans, its overdriven guitars and hangover cures. But more than being just a journal of dreams (a well-mined theme for poets since time immemorial), Lost in the Telling strives to translate these hazy hallucinations, and then inform the reader/fellow traveler of what he or she has seen, and of just what might be waiting around the next highway bend.
Harold Whit Williams is guitarist for the critically acclaimed rock band Cotton Mather. He was a featured poet in the 2014 University of North Texas Kraken Reading Series and was also recipient of the 2014 Mississippi Review Poetry Prize. His collection, Backmasking, won the 2013 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize from Texas Review Press. He has worked for well over a decade at UT Austin’s Life Science Library.