Elizabeth Willis

Elizabeth Willis

Elizabeth Willis

Elizabeth Willis is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Alive: New and Selected Poems, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She also writes about poetry, labor, and art. Willis is the editor of the essay collection Radical Vernacular: Lorine Niedecker and the Poetics of Place and she teaches at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

cover image of the book Liontaming in America

Liontaming in America

“To disrupt the relationship of predator and prey, to reshape one’s relation to power, is to renovate the lived and living world,” Elizabeth Willis writes in this visionary work that delves deep into the ancient enchantments of the circus and its timeless disciplinary displays. Liontaming in America investigates the utopian aspirations fleetingly enacted in the polyamorous life of a nineteenth-century religious community, interweaving archival and personal threads wit the histories of domestic labor, extraction economies, and the performance of family in theater, film, and everyday life. Lines reverberate between worldliness and devotion, between Peter Pan and Close Encounters, between Paul Robeson and Maude Adams, between leaps of faith and passionate alliances, between everyday tragedy and imaginative social possibility. As Willis writes in her afterword to the book, “The repeated unmaking and remaking of America, as a concept and as an ongoing textual project, is not impossible. It is happening all the time.”

More Information
Scroll to Top of Page