Violent Blues

“Willard plays the notes in-between – the awakenings, loves and losses…of sending and receiving – perhaps like Thelonius Monk’s fractured piano… I am struck by the sincerity of the voice here, the relentless set of mind-heart puzzles, the tender, wisdom-lit aloneness in this collection…This is a rare gift, a magnificent wave of poems that will move with you forever.”

- Juan Felipe Herrera
U.S. Poet Laureate



“Willard writes with balanced – and earned – accuracy from the heart of his experience. The natural world is a powerful real presence that, through its resistances, as well as its vexing beauty, marks the outward reach of inwardness. The poems are clear windows on the defining scenes of inwardness: love, separation, family and coming to terms with pain and joy”.

-Sven Birkerts