“Here is tough metaphor. Bruce Williams’ jeep on fire grips you with an image of self-awareness that shifts and adapts, tethered to the poet’s experience of love and loss and coupled with the deep vulnerability of self-recovery. He travels to the center of his heart’s dry lake and unfolds for us the road map of his journey and return.”
“The poetry of Bruce Williams is always a journey of inner and outer discovery for both the poet and the reader. Many of these poems would be emotionally devastating were they not so finely crafted and the voice so assured—and assuring—as the poet confronts mutability, mortality, and redemption. This is a collection of serious intent and profound impact.”
“Three centuries ago the Japanese poet Basho created his masterpiece “Narrow Road to the Interior” out of a pilgrimage on foot through the backcountry of northern Honshu. The Japanese character for the word “interior” implies both an actual location and a spiritual interior. His book is a chronicle of his journey as well as an examination of his own spiritual life. In The Mojave Road and Other Journeys Bruce Williams has created a masterpiece out of two journeys, one literal, the other his struggle with the loss of a loved one and his own mortality. Basho said: “The journey itself is my home” and in his profoundly moving procession of poems Bruce Williams mourns the end of one journey while attempting to redefine the meaning of “home” in his life.”
“Bruce Williams’ The Mojave Road and Other Journeys is simply one of the most breathtaking and heartbreaking collections of poetry I’ve read in many years. These poems constitute a sequence of elegies and a folio of meditations upon illness, death and transcendence, and also upon the nature of late, redeeming love. As in Theodore Roethke’s psychologically dense, timeless, and powerful poem, “Journey to the Interior,” Bruce Williams spiritual self-confrontation charts a dangerous, often precarious landscape of intimate loss and the consequent potential for the wreckage of the self.”
—David St. John
“Bruce Williams was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Colorado. He was educated at Grinnell College, U.C.L.A., and Claremont Graduate School, where he received an M.A. and PhD. He has taught English and creative writing for many years at Mt. San Antonio College, east of Los Angeles. He has published four chapbooks, including The Mojave Road at Last and Stratification, and his work has appeared in O’Brien Literary Speculator as well as numerous scholarly and literary journals and anthologies. The Mojave Road and Other Journeys is his first full-length collection. He lives in San Dimas, California, from where he explores the desert in one of his two Jeeps every chance he gets.