William Wright, Jr.
William Wright Jr.’s The Slums of Nightfall reads like a modern version of a collection of works by Edgar Allan Poe, but not by any means in a cheap, knockoff sort of way. This is brilliance in words. If there ever was a book that made me feel like Edgar Allan Poe was still alive and with us today, it would be this book. Perhaps the author is even the reincarnation, we’ll never know for sure, but it is wonderful to think about. Although the poetry is dark, one might think it would start to become repetitive, but each poem has a way of treating depressive situations and turning these into something that is not monotonous by any means, but is new again to us. The poems immerse you, cover you up like a blanket, nearly hypnotic.
The Slums of Nightfall is a collection of poetry that covers a wide range of topics. Most of the poems revolve around the subject of mental health, specifically the author’s ongoing struggle with anxiety and depression. The book is not about a literal slum. It is about a state of mind a person can reach, when they lie awake at night, contemplating the world around them. It is about the wee hours of the morning, when your home has fallen silent and you are left to be wide awake with your memories. Each poem is a part of a larger story; a story about wrestling with your fears and insecurities, and the gradual journey toward loving and accepting yourself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars - Beauty when the other dancer is the self.
I suggest taking your time reading this book. I chose to enjoy one poem before I went to bed. I would let it digest and try to think about what the author was thinking when he wrote these verses. If you are having a hard time digesting the world or are feeling anxious about the daily struggles of life then you will find this book comforting and relatable. The words are perfectly selected and flow beautifully. My favorite being, "Another Crack in the Sidewalk" - Alice Walker
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Throughout this book are threads of hope, springing eternal. William Wright, Jr. spars within himself to believe in the overall goodness of humanity, trying to maintain a balance between idealism and the reality of the present day. It is a call to all of us to reflect, become our better selves and harken to positive change, finding the eternal hope within us.
This is not a book to be taken lightly, for it is too precious a message to disregard.
5 Out of 5 Stars - Knocked the Breath out of My Chest
William Wright Jr. can write. Really write. Every single poem in this collection is a breathtaking display of his raw power with words, and that's not hyperbole--I had to read this book very slowly, just so I could adequately savour each poem. I would go so far as to say that this is one of the best books of poetry I've ever read. The use of language is masterful, complete with surprising, vivid imagery and well-placed, clean line breaks. And the sheer musicality of the poems is unparalleled. Consider the final stanzas from 'A Host of Unknown Travesties': "And he faded from view / Dissolved / By the talk of our time / And he faded from view / Soft-spoken / And void". Such ingeniously subtle and lyrical lines are in every poem.
There is a conflict between cynicism and optimism, anger and hope, in this collection, which is shown quite well in 'The Passing Torment,' the final two stanzas of which are among my favourite: "It was all / But a ghastly / And murderous / Façade / Then the world transpired / In gilded / Fiery splendor". Wright Jr. wrote in the preface that this book is "for anyone who has ever experienced the wrath of anxiety or the lows of depression". A sense of catharsis is both found and experienced in reading these poems. The main message of the book seems to be something along the lines of 'keep moving, things will get better; have hope', shown for example in 'Stray Panicked Lines': "And so we must relent / Or die awash / Left cold / On the outer / Fringes of worth". The outer fringes of worth! Even in just those five words, Wright Jr. manages to impress, and so inconspicuously he does it, almost as if he just wanted to slip that gorgeous line in there. Such gems are in every poem.
Wright Jr. has an extraordinary ability with language, and a message worth hearing, as well as a voice of his own. I have no doubt that he is going to go on to amazing things, so I am very glad to have this book now and be able to follow his career in its early stages. I'll be keeping a close eye.
5 out of 5 stars - Beautiful Collection of Poetry!!
First of all the title of this book leaves me thinking and sends my soul soaring in the dark and loveliness of the night I have always loved. As a hopeless insomniac I've come to love night a great deal, its mysteries, its darkness, the quietness that night can bring. The cover reflects this form. As for the book its a lovely collection of beautiful poetry. William is a very talented poet whose wonderful way with words will keep any poetry lover hooked until the end of the book. Greater Despair, and Crash were two of my favorite poems. I enjoyed reading these poems and I suggest anyone reading takes their time reading these one by one so that way you can appreciate this lovely work of art. Allow the words to work their magic so you can appreciate their beauty. You will not regret it! Buy this book!
I fell in love with William Wright Jr.’s The Slums of Nightfall. I am a lover of Edgar Allan Poe, and of old poetry in general, so this really spoke to me. I have had bouts of depression and anxiety all my life, and the material in this collection applied to me in a lot of ways with the times that I have struggled in that deep, dark, black hole. I don’t say this to make light of the material in any way, because I know what it’s like. If I were to recommend someone to read this, or if you were perhaps looking for a gift for a friend for Halloween, as I said it has the Poe vibe, and any lover of Poe and Halloween would fall in love with this book.
Reviewed by Erin Nicole Cochran for Readers' Favorite
The Hunt for a Purpose
William Wright, Jr. is an ambitious young writer from San Diego, California. He is the son of two Navy veterans, Margo Wright and William Wright, Sr. He is also the youngest and the only boy among his two siblings, China Wright and Casaundra Camille Robinson, nee Wright. It took him some time to discover his talent for writing poetry, and to this day there are still many lessons for him to learn. As a child, William originally dreamed of becoming a naturalist and of traveling the world with his childhood friend, Jason Nivens. In middle school, he dreamed of becoming a historian and of having his own TV show on the History Channel. In high school, William’s dreams shifted towards becoming a comic book artist, and no matter what his family and friends told him, he was going write comic books with his best friend, after graduating high school. Once again, circumstances had changed and yet another aspiration had taken his full attention.
However, this aspiration remained with him far longer than the rest. After a difficult first semester of college, William fell into a deep depression and felt as if he had no true purpose in life. He was not sure of who he was or who he wanted be. There were so many questions swirling around in his mind that he became overwhelmed, and just had to find a way to purge them from his thoughts. He would relieve his frustrations by writing anger-fueled rants into a notebook every day. These rants were about feeling alienated; they were about his anxiety and his seemingly endless search for a place and a purpose. Over time, the long paragraphs of these rants were shortened and he began to insert more poetic imagery into his sentences. The shortened paragraphs of these rants, were broken up into stanzas and slowly they evolved into poems.
Through constantly writing, he discovered a new passion for words and for the incredible power they wield. People were quick to lend compliments for his eloquence and the vivid imagery employed in his poetry. He always accepted and appreciated their kind words, but kept in mind that there was always room for improvement. William devoted most of his days to writing, which often resulted in him neglecting his pursuit of a higher education. Through his hard work and dedication to writing, he was featured in his first publication in May of 2012, in an anthology titled: “The Survivor’s Guide to Bedlam.” It was welcome and exciting news but it was quickly overshadowed by a steep decline in his grades. William dropped out of college a year later, and devoted his time to finding employment and searching for more publishing opportunities. In the years following his departure from college, he self-published five poetry books, which received little to no feedback and sparked a long period of depression and great uncertainty. After two years of contemplation, temporary jobs, a series of failures and poor decisions, and a few poetry anthology features, William decided to re-enroll in college and to continue working toward a degree. He registered for the spring semester of 2015, and today he is still in college, maintaining a 4.0 GPA in his pursuit of a degree in English. He is still searching for his voice as a writer, and is even stepping out of his comfort zone of poetry, to try his hand at writing a novel. Even through the hardship, the humiliation and the months of self-doubt and self-destruction, William Wright, Jr. has held true to his dream. And thanks to the people at Creative Talents Unleashed, that dream is fast becoming a reality.