Daniel Williams resides in the Yosemite region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of northern California. He has an M.A. in English Literature from San Jose State University, and has taught at Foothill College, Columbia College and Metro State in Denver.
Amoskeag: The 2012 issue has come to be known as the “Identity” issue; in what way does your work deal with “identity?”
Dan: Sometimes the mytho-poetic archetype allows us to find corresponding emotions in our all too human breasts and therefore gives some keys to our own identity. Like watching an Elizabethan tragedy and identifying with Hamlet. Sometimes our own ghosts force us to take reluctant action.
Amoskeag: In developing your main and supporting characters, how do you see them losing or finding themselves?
Dan: Pluto the lord of darkness is attempting to enlighten his young lover regarding their situation. By telling her you’ve no future here and letting her go he’s committing a transcendent act of love. Her reluctance to leave, she learns, is hurting herself and the world at large. The wisdom of age confronts the passion of youth.
Amoskeag: What is the one line, the one sentence in your piece that for you sums up the meaning of “identity?”
Dan: I am hell /and hell is a nice place to visit/ but when you want to leave you want to leave.
Amoskeag: How do you identify yourself as a writer — how did you get here? Who/what made you so? Where have you come from? What have you gone through?
Dan: In my youth and after a reading of Graves’ White Goddess I decided to dedicate my writing to the earth and its rhythms. I live in forest, meadow, river, sky, and every living creature and they in me. It’s my
purpose to give them voice.
Amoskeag: What lies ahead for you?
Dan: Each day brings its opportunities for poetry. I wait upon them.
To view an excerpt of Dan’s poem “Pluto to Persephone,” click here.