When We Arrived presents: an interview with Conney Williams

What do most good poems have in common?

What most good poems have in common is honesty/truth, imagery, and precision. Form is important, especially if the poem is written for the page; e.g. line breaks, punctuation, enjambment, etc. All of these work to make the poem flow and add meaning to the words. Form can also help teach the poet discipline. Discipline is important for a poet, helps them to know how to show rather than telling; using two words to describe an object instead of ten.

Poetry is like…

Poetry is like being on the top of a snow covered mountain middle of winter; where the air is thin yet transparent. You can see off into the distance for miles in any direction. The altitude can be a little daunting at first and a little difficult to breath. But once you open your lungs to that breathing, that freshness of the air, distilled for you to breathe the way you were intended. You hear every sound including the rhythm of your heart. Your skis are locked, mask is down, and your glide over the edge and your carve the snow and air and though this was what you were always intended to do.



Conney D. Williams is a Los Angeles based poet, actor and performance artist originally from Shreveport, Louisiana where he worked a radio personality. He has two collections of poetry “Leaves of Spilled Spirit from an Untamed Poet (2002)” and his most recent, “Blues Red Soul Falsetto (2012).” His poetry has been published in various publications, newspapers, and anthologies (Voices From Leimert, At the End of the Day, Drumming Between Us). He is the Artistic Director at the World Stage Performance Gallery where he facilitates the Anansi Writers Workshop. He is a community activist and has worked with youth for over 25 years. He is formerly an ordained minister and Youth Pastor in the Church of God in Christ. He has hosted a weekly cable television show and also recorded a gospel rap cd called L.I.F.E (1985). He has been the Poet’s Stage Coordinator for the Leimert Park Village  Book  Fair since its inception; and also the Annual Leimert Park Village African Art & Music Festival for three years (2012-2014). He has performed his poetry on television, radio (KJLH, KPFK), universities (USC, UCLA, Claremont, CSLB, Antioch, CS-Northridge, and others),  cultural events & organizations (Black Arts Festival, CAAM), for the City & County of Los Angeles, across the U.S., and he regularly curates poetry events in Los Angeles.




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