Little Human Relics: Poems by Amanda Williams

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Release Date: August 14th, 2018

The poems in Little Human Relics weave themselves through various notions of home: a family farm, the mythic backdrop of Bavaria, a cityscape rife with urban noise and expectations, and the quiet interiors of domestic life. Whether overhearing a lament about marriage at a nail salon, or standing vigil over the grave of a newly-buried horse, these poems invite readers to step over the page’s threshold into a kitchen, a gothic cathedral, a lover’s bed. These poems celebrate the ways in which devotion elevates all things in one’s life to a position of reverence; a poem which marvels at the brutality of religious relics is placed alongside a poem depicting the mending of a child’s nightgown, and suddenly that small act of love inspires equal awe. As the title suggests, these poems are carefully captured moments in a person’s life that may have easily flown past her, but they all represent a constellation of objects, events, and characters who are undeniably worthy of praise. Like relics, they exist to both conjure memory, as well as teach readers a little bit more about what it means to be human.

Praise for Little Human Relics:

"Amanda Williams’ poems transport and they bear -- rangy, strong, text/ured, and open-hearted. Her vision is as generous as her voice and modes. We encounter fairy tales, family, a rural upbringing, Bavarian heritage, rituals, and the disruptions/eruptions of moving out and becoming an adult. Little Human Relics marks an auspicious beginning."

         -  Thorpe Moeckel, author of Watershed Days: Adventures (A Little Thorny & Familiar) in the Home Range, Arcadia Road: A TrilogyOdd BotanyMaking a Map of the River, and Venison.

"What strikes me about the poems in Amanda Williams’s delightful book Little Human Relics is the marriage of the startling image—“a cardinal sits like a drop of blood in the brume”—with a sense of personal legacy. They recall other times and places—the old country, a beloved aunt, childhood, adolescence, ancient rites, traditions—with photo-album precision. In them we see familiar scenes, stories passed down through generations, crystalline images of unforgettable moments and artifacts in the history of a family, painted with a blend of nostalgia and honesty. You won’t want to miss this book."  

          - Clifford Garstang, author of What the Zhang Boys Know