Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award
The Vigil, which first appeared in 1997, finds contemporary American master-poet C. K. Williams taking a more reflective and empathetic turn in his work. As Jonathan Aaron wrote in The Boston Globe: "A matchless explorer of the burdens of consciousness, Williams has always written brilliantly about human pain, that which we inflict upon others and upon ourselves, and that which we experience in dreading what we're fated for. In The Vigil Williams affirms the uncanny resiliency of love as solace for pain—what he calls 'these invisible links that allure, these transfigurations even of anguish that hold us' ('The Neighbor'). It is a mystery he has probed before, but never with quite such sympathy and candor."