Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Vigil

The Vigil


C. K. Williams

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Trade Paperback

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."

National Books Critics Circle Awards - Nominee, National Book Critics Circle Awards - Nominee, Pulitzer Prize - Finalist


Praise for The Vigil

"Williams is famous for his long verse line. An admirable instrument indeed, it is an Offenbach Barcarole of a line, seductively wafting us over the deeps Williams plumbs and charming attention away from the narrowness of the channel of subject matter through which he steers." - Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

C. K. Williams

C. K. Williams (1936–2015) published twenty-two books of poetry including, Flesh and Blood, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award; Repair, which won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; and The Singing, winner of the National Book Award. Williams was awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2005. He wrote a critical study, On Whitman; a memoir, Misgivings; and two books of essays, Poetry and Consciousness and In Time: Poets, Poems,and the Rest.

C. K. Williams

Catherine Mauger

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Latest on Facebook